This 29-storey office development is the home of global insurance broker Willis Group.
The scheme enabled the creation of a large, tree-lined public plaza, filled with cafes and restaurants, seating and attractive plantings. An historic route that had been closed off since the 1700s was re-opened and, in conjunction with the City of London, Lime Street was pedestrianised.
The distinctive saw-tooth north and south façades of the building reduce heat, as the sun hits the solid parts of the façade at the hottest times of day. On the east and west facades triple glazing and shading systems contribute to the successful cooling of the building. The unusual facades eliminated the need for complicated louvres, with their associated cleaning difficulties. The building was awarded a BREEAM “Excellent” rating.
The Foster + Partners-designed scheme won the 2007 New City Architecture Award for its unique architectural form and contribution to the landscape. It was also awarded the Best New Tall Building (Europe) Award in the 2007 Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitation awards.
The development created 500,000 sq ft of lettable space, including ground floor retail. The basement houses an auditorium, gymnasium, plant and carparking.