77 Coleman involves the comprehensive redevelopment of an existing building that fronts onto two major thoroughfares within the City of London.
The existing 1980s building sat uncomfortably within the Bank Conservation Area. Dark granite cladding, tinted glazing and awkward cornice lines resulted in a dated and heavy façade which sat in contrast to the light stone facades typical of the City of London. Internally, the building suffered from a dated décor, a lack of cycle storage with an overprovision of car parking spaces and outdated services with no capability for renewable energy. The reception was a dark single-storey space whilst the upper floors lacked natural light due to small windows with tinted windows and obstructed views. An existing double-height atrium on the fourth and fifth floors was underused and appeared dated. Nun Court, a historic route to the south of the site which predated the de velopment of Moorgate, ran eastwards but failed to make a connection between Coleman Street and Moorgate. It thus sat as a redundant and uninviting dead-end.
Acknowledging the tradition of small hidden passageways throughout the City of London, our alterations to Nun Court improve cross-site permeability through the public realm. A bronze-framed lightbox with fluted glass signals the entrance from Moorgate with decorative bronze louvres framing the retail unit accessed from the passageway. Glazed faience tiles line both sides of the initial passageway. Lit from above and beneath, they create an elegant and striking feature which entices pedestrians through the new route. The development of Nun Court also allows for the creation of 95ft of retail frontage (Known collectively as 55 Moorgate) which comprises 16,000 sqft of retail and leisure to create a lively and populated public realm which includes café seating at the Moorgate entrance.
The two main facades of the existing building were dramatically altered despite limitations imposed by the existing structural frame. On Moorgate, the existing cladding has been replaced with Moleanos limestone, chosen for its similarity to Portland stone which prevails in the City of London. By applying the same material across the entire façade and the adjacent Nun Court, a cohesiveness is achieved between the existing architecture, newly clad facades and building extensions. The building now sits as an elegant and subtle composition within the dense cluster of office buildings along Moorgate. On the Coleman Street façade, Moleanos limestone is used again for the ground, first floor and two-storey extension, but the main body of the building is clad in dark grey handmade Peterson brick that responds to a more varied material palette along Coleman Street.
The main building is accessed through a spacious double-height reception area on Coleman Street. Clad in full-height glazing, the new entrance improves the connection between the building and the surrounding streetscape. Internally, the office floors have been refurbished to benefit from more natural light and improved floor-to-ceiling heights. The reconfigured main stair core is lit by natural light and will have a paired back material palette which compliments the refurbished areas of the building. A two-storey roof extension adds additional office space to create a sixth and seventh floor. Stepped back from the existing facade line below, the façade of the extension continues the vertical line of the structural columns below. Two new terraces on the sixth and seventh floors are paved with natural stone and subtle lighting, creating open space with views out to the city.