With its BREEAM Outstanding rating, Bloomberg’s new European headquarters – located in the heart of the City of London – is the world’s most sustainable office building.
Announcing its opening today (October 24), Lord Foster, Foster + Partners’ founder and executive chairman, said he wanted the 3.2-acre complex to “provide the highest standards of sustainability and wellbeing for its occupants”.
“From day one, we talked with Mike Bloomberg about creating an elegant stone building that responds to its historic setting yet is clearly of its own time and which would be a good neighbour in the City of London in every sense of the word,” he explained.
“We wanted the building to have an integrity and continuity of expression both inside and out, creating an inspiring, innovative, dynamic and collaborative workplace for Bloomberg that embodies the core values of the company.”
Located between St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England, the dual-building headquarters has a sandstone façade featuring large-scale bronze fins. These come with openable panels that let in fresh air, with outside noise attenuated by a layer of acoustic lining.
Inside, past the reception area, employees and visitors find themselves in ‘the Vortex’, a double-height space defined by three curving timber shells. This is where that high-speed lifts with concealed mechanisms whizz people up to the sixth-floor pantry.
It’s here that Foster + Partners has tried to reflect Bloomberg’s ethos of “sharing and collaboration”. Everyone passes through the canteen-free pantry (designed to prevent ‘Google syndrome’, where free food discourages employees from going outside), which is hoped will make chance meetings and casual chats more likely.
“The design of the building supports the values of Bloomberg as an organisation and the way it operates,” said project architect Michael Jones. “The cores have been pushed to the edges of the building to visually open the floors and reveal a spiralling ramp, the heart of the building, bringing together the people who work in it. In a sense, it is all about community and collaboration – both within the building and the way it embraces its surroundings.”