Located immediately behind the Bank of England, this site is within the Guildhall Conservation Area of the City of London. There were two existing buildings on the site; 97-99 Gresham Street built in 1925 and 36-40 Coleman Street, built in the 1960’s. Although both buildings were to be entirely demolished, it was a condition of the Corporation of London planning approval that the facade of 97-99 Gresham Street be reconstructed to largely match the existing. A small amount of the old stone was retained for posterity and built into the new scheme; in particular the cupola and ornate pilaster capitals.
To satisfy the Conservation Area criterion of maintaining the scale and ‘grain’ of the existing streetscape, the new development is designed to appear from the street as a 1920’s building with a large modern extension that is in sympathy with it. Behind the two facades is one purpose built open plan office with service cores at either end.
The replacement to the 1920’s Gresham Street facade is mostly of new Portland stone, the exception being the cupola stonework and pilaster capitals which will be reused from the existing. It is slightly taller than the existing in order to achieve contemporary floor to ceiling heights, but leaves only one mansard floor instead of the previous two. The Gresham Street elevation also adapts the fenestration from the original to allow for current office layouts.
The new Coleman Street facade comprises three storey windows between half round stone pilasters. There are two feature bays topped with stone pavilions on this facade, one facing down Kings Arm Yard. Between this and 34 Coleman Street the building steps back at higher levels to respect neighbours’ rights of light.
City of London