The brief for Moorgate Exchange was to provide a dynamic and high quality office and headquarters building, a modern architectural statement that maximised lettable area and provided efficient and flexible floor plates. By utilising steel rather than concrete, the building was able to achieve long column-free spans as well as reducing the overall floor zone, increasing the maximum number of storeys, and increasing the net lettable space for the client due to fewer and smaller columns.
As well as this, a number of other design and structural constraints had to be considered. The building’s west facing wedge-like form was created in response to the rights to light of the residents in the Barbican. Its height is limited by the St Paul’s viewing corridor and the choice of structural strategy was influenced by the need to avoid conflicts with Crossrail tunnelling that partially overlaps the site’s footprint.
These constraints were used to achieve a distinct architecture with the building’s wedge-like form creatively used to provide landscaped terraces at the upper levels. These are highly visible from the surrounding streets and notionally extend the greenery of the Barbican terraces eastwards. The building has fulfilled the client brief and achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
The judges commented: ‘The team maximised the net lettable space by exploiting the great benefits of a steel frame - long clear spans with minimal fire-engineered columns, and with a reduced overall floor depth that enabled the incorporation of an additional storey. Level access to external balconies was a clever bonus. The lightweight superstructure permitted a raft foundation, impossible with other solutions. A commercial success thanks to intelligent steelwork.’
View the full list of awards won here.