Rothschild Bank Headquarters / OMA

Forecourt and St Stephen Walbrook at night © OMA by Philippe Ruault

OMA recently completed their first building in . The new 21,000sqm building is located in the narrow medieval alley of St Swithin’s Lane, in the heart of the City, a dense context where OMA’s precise intervention is able to blend and become an active urban piece.

The building, thanks to its structural design, is lifted from the ground exposing new situations, connections and views, detonator of a new  streetscape where the public realm is as important as the office space above.

You can see Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon discussing this project on a video posted earlier at ArchDaily.

More information courtesy of OMA after the break:

Project: Rothschild Bank Headquarters
Year: 2011
Client: NM Rothschild & Sons
Location: St Swithin’s Lane, City of London
Site: New Court, enclosed in cluster of buildings, adjacent to the 17th century St. Stephen Walbrook church; with main entrance on the narrow St. Swithin’s Lane
Program: Office headquarters: 13,000m2
Partners in charge: Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon

 

St Stephen Walbrook Church with west facade of Rothschild Bank © OMA

OMA’s design for New Court is the fourth iteration of NM Rothschild & Sons’ London headquarters, all of them built on the increasingly dense and architecturally rich site on St. Swithin’s Lane, a narrow medieval alley in the heart of the City.

M. Rothschild established residence at New Court in 1809. In 1865 the first of two Rothschild- commissioned New Court bank buildings was completed. One hundred years later, the Victorian New Court, which Rothschild had long since outgrown, was demolished and replaced with a new building, which proved to be even more short-lived and obscured views of Christopher Wren’s domed church of St. Stephen Walbrook, built in 1677.

Rothschild Bank © OMA by Charlie Koolhaas

The current rebuilding of New Court offers the opportunity to reinstate a visual connection between St. Swithin’s Lane and St. Stephen Walbrook. Instead of competing as accidental neighbours, the church and New Court now form a twinned urban ensemble, an affinity reinforced by the proportional similarity of their towers.

Rooftopview on London framed by Sky Pavilion © OMA by Philippe Ruault

New Court comprises a central cube of ten efficient and flexible open-plan office floors, which facilitate views over St. Stephen’s and the surrounding City. This cube is linked to four adjoining annexes, with meeting rooms, enclosed offices, vertical circulation, reception areas, and a staff cafe and gym. The top of this central cube features a landscaped roof garden with outdoor meeting areas. This in turn is overlooked by a Sky Pavilion – a small tower with three double-height storeys peering out over the city – which houses meeting and dining rooms and a multifunctional panorama room with extraordinary and unfamiliar views across the City, including St. Paul Cathedral.

Level 7-10 © OMA by Philippe Ruault
Level 7-10 © OMA by Philippe Ruault

The central cube has a distinctive repeated pattern of structural steel columns embedded in the façade. At street level, the entire cube is lifted to create generous pedestrian access to the tall glass lobby and a covered forecourt that opens a visual passage to St. Stephen Walbrook and its churchyard – creating a surprising moment of transparency in the otherwise constrained opacity of the medieval streetscape.

Rothschild Bank car access © OMA by Philippe Ruault
Reception area with curtain © OMA by Philippe Ruault

The new building unites all of Rothschild’s London staff in one location for the first time in decades. A reading room and space for displaying the family’s archive ground the new building in the bank’s illustrious history. Through the reconnection of two precious open spaces in the City – the courtyard of New Court and the churchyard of St. Stephen Walbrook – the new New Court promises to transform St. Swithin’s Lane.

Fit Out:

Project Manager: Carol Patterson Project
Architect: Elisa Simonetti
Team: Jarek Kubik, Nina Sahebkar, Billy Choi (A&M), Andrew Dean (A&M), Saskia Simon, Katrien van Dijk, Jonah Gamblin, Anna Tjumina, Christine Peters (A&M), Mariana Rodrigues (A&M), Anna Pribylova, Lucia Zamponi, Nurdan Yakup, Jad Semaan

Stage D through construction:
Project manager: Carol Patterson
Team: Jarek Kubik, Isabel da Silva, with Dirk Peters, Rodrigo Vilas Boas, Anita Ernodi, Christoph Michael, Matt Brown, Jonah Gamblin

Allies and Morrison Architects:
Parter in Charge: Robert Maxwell
Project Architect: Andrew Dean
Team: Billy Choi, Mark Foster, Andrew McMullan, Lenny Sequeira, Joel Davenport, Juliet Harris, Sophie Lian Jie, James Petty, Stefen Schoenefuss, Frances Taylor

Planning permission & to Stage C:
Project managers: Kunle Adeyemi, Adrianne Fisher
Team: João Amaro, Clement Blanchet, Martin Gallovsky, Achim Gergen, Michel van de Kar, Keigo Kobayashi, Matthew Murphy, Daan Ooievaar, Marc Paulin, Christin Svensson, Daliana Suryawinata

Competition team: Matthew Logan Murphy, Jason Long, Anna Little, Haiko Cornelissen, Tiago Branco, Claire Destrebecq, Gustavo Guimarães, Marta Rodríguez Fernández, Nicolas Firket, Pascal Lestringant, Manuel Pelicano Moreira, Leoni Wenz

Consultants:
Project Manager: Stanhope
Executive architect: Allies and Morrison Architects
Structure, services, fire engineering: Arup
Cost consultants: Davis Langdon

Construction manager: Lend Lease
Planning consultants: DP9
Property consultants: Knight Frank Newmark
Townscape adviser: Peter Stewart Consultancy
Rights of light: GIA
Lighting: Gia Equation
Access: David Bonnett Associates
Archaeology: MOLAS
Landscape: Inside Outside

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Rothschild Bank Headquarters / OMA" 09 Dec 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=191077>

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    I just visited this building today on Christmas, since all of London is quiet and easy to get around. Bt when I approached the building for photographs a short, perturbed security guard approached me and told me to erase my photos and to leave the “transformative” forecourt at once. I know this is not what OMA had in mind when they designed a public connection between to large open areas. I feel disappointed for the public when some small man with a severe Napoleon complex can rob us of appreciating public architecture.

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