Gustafson Porter + Bowman: At ground level, Gustafson Porter + Bowman’s landscape design for the public realm at New Ludgate seeks to tie the new development seamlessly into the surrounding urban fabric and character. This is achieved by fine landscape details and finishes which reinforce the smooth transition and facilitate the use of this new public space in a tight urban site. A small piazzetta on Old Bailey marks the entrance to a West-East passageway which links Old Bailey to Limeburner Lane. This new route recalls similar hidden passageways throughout the City of London which create unexpected shortcuts. It marks a transition from the traditional pavement of Yorkstone to a dark granite in the piazza and passageway. This change is made with a bold geometric paving pattern which takes inspiration from fashion designer Alexander McQueen and the 20th century artist M. C. Escher. The design and development of this paving pattern required close contact and collaboration with the wider construction team.
Additionally, on the development’s fifth floor, Gustafson Porter + Bowman developed a large south-facing roof terrace which benefits from day-long sunlight. A dense planting scheme varies in height and corresponds to an understated colour scheme for pockets of the raised flower bed, which is wrapped in a sinuous white Corian bench. Both inconspicuous and sculptural, its form continues to wrap around the very edges of the terrace whilst its varied height creates ample soil depth. The design of the planting bed allows for two channels which aid spectacular views for the building’s users to St Paul’s and the City of London beyond.
The planting on New Ludgate’s fifth-floor terrace is comprised of colourful bands of perennial plants mixed with ornamental grasses in loose, natural arrangements. Plants are grouped together according to colour and form. Bands of yellow flowering evergreen Euphorbias contrast with the tall blue flowering spikes of Erynginum, Echinopsis and Aster, while low hummocks of flowering Thyme are seen against the towering purple balls of Alliums. All are framed by the plumes of tall ornamental grasses. Using a mix of low and taller perennials and grasses provides a permeable boundary between the natural oasis of the roof terrace and its immediate urban context.
“Both spaces seek to normalise the hectic energy of central London, and embody a belief that a small-scale space with high-quality materials and refined detailing can enhance the public realm, thus creating an intimate space within the heart of the city that everybody can use.”
– Donncha O Shea, Partner, Gustafson Porter + Bowman
2016 Winner, City of London Building of the Year Award
2016 Winner, Landscape Institute Best small-scale development
2016 Winner, LEAF Awards Developer and Development Project of the Year
2016 Winner, RICS Commercial Office Building of the Year
2016 Shortlist, NLA Office Building of the Year
2016 Shortlist, FX Awards Public Space Scheme
Location: London, United Kingdom
Outline brief: Development of public realm and surrounding streetscape around 1&2 New Ludgate development. Also, design and development of fifth-floor roof terrace.
Client Land Securities
Contract value: N/A
Completion date: March 2015
Project team: Neil Porter, Donncha O Shea
Planning authority: City of London Corporation
Project Manager: Matthew Perry, Lad Securities
Planning consultant: DP9
Architects: Sauerbruch Hutton, Fletcher Priest
Cost Consultant: Gleeds
Leasing Agents: Gleeds
Structural Engineers: Waterman Group
M&E: Waterman Group
Water feature consultants: N/A
Environmental Consultants: Waterman Group
Awards: Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) top prize for Commercial Office Building of the Year 2016
The City of London Building of the Year Award
Shortlisted for the NLA Office Building of the Year
Shortlisted for the LEAF Awards Developer Project of the Year.
Materials used: Dark Granite, Yorkstone, Corian (not exhaustive)