Sustainable Retrofit in Bank

Rolfe Judd Architects and Rolfe Judd Planning were asked by our client Royal Sun Alliance Insurance to revisit the potential of this 1970’s corner plot on Bartholomew Lane and Threadneedle Street.
The building is in the heart of the conservation area, flanked by the Bank of England and The Royal Exchange. The lower floors were vacated by a long-standing tenant and provided a unique opportunity to re-invigorate the base of the building during the pandemic.

The ground to first reclad, rear extension and internal retrofit have changed how the building behaves and interacts with its surroundings and users. The entire ground floor has been reconfigured. The reclad creates depth and visually redistributes the weight of the building above to articulate the structural grid more honestly. Proportions of new apertures and fenestration draw upon the Portland stone frieze of the Bank of England. Honed Blue Pearl granite differentiates the new skin from the existing polished granite above. A flamed finish is used to further define the main entrance and decorative apertures to window heads.

The new main office entrance has been moved to the centre bay of the Threadneedle Street façade. This gives the building a stronger street presence as well as increasing the size of the lobby.

Internally the use of terrazzo with bespoke timber joinery references the buildings 1970’s origins, making it a true retrofit. Natural oak panelling contrasts the cool durable recycled stone floors and walls, creating a light and airy space for greeting, meeting and working. The reception desk is front and centre on arrival. The terrazzo desk appears to be carved and sculpted from the ground and walls.

The design intends to bring to life elements of the existing building that were hidden. The team focused on finding the most sustainable solution to extend the buildings lifespan and provide a series of spaces that focus on wellbeing, flexibility and reuse whilst reducing carbon at every opportunity. The team have reused mechanical ductwork and plant alongside new FCU and heat recovery, new efficient electrical fittings, ecological enhancements, thermal and acoustic façade upgrades, retention and re-use of existing raised floors. The works have achieved BREEAM “Excellent” and WIRED score.

The works to levels 1,2 and 3 incorporate rear extensions to expand the office floor plates offering a greater NIA and a series of external terraces. The structure allows for further upward expansion when upper leases align and is fully demountable if future change is required. The new steel framework and its interface with the existing concrete frame is left exposed and rafts are co-ordinated in line with BCO zoning to hide FCU whilst exposing ductwork and cable trays on a painted pot and beam soffit.

We look forward to seeing the new and existing tenants experience the new interventions within the lower floors of 62 Threadneedle Street and seeing the ground floor façade activate this key part of the historic conservation area.