ArchitectsDoone Silver Architects / Flanagan Lawrence
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. MCM began working with Bird & Bird in 2012 when they began developing a forward-looking property strategy for their London accommodation based on the expiry of several lease obligations in 2016. Split across three buildings, Bird & Bird wanted to consolidate into one London base and appointed MCM to undertake due-diligence to help with their building selection process.
Following this initial due-diligence, Bird & Bird decided to take the whole of 12 New Fetter Lane, a 140,000 sq ft building over ground and 12 floors. MCM worked very closely with Bird & Bird to establish a robust brief that would inform the design of their new workplace. The results are an agile ready open plan work environment that also contains a variety of work settings that support collaboration and concentrated work.
MCM consulted widely with staff and the Bird & Bird steering group to communicate the designs at the outset to ensure there was buy-in across the organisation. It was important to help reassure staff that the new office would meet their needs in terms of the technology that allowed them to move around easily and in terms of appropriate quiet space for concentrative work.
A feature staircase was installed in reception to bring large numbers of visitors easily up to the seminar space and client business lounge on the 1st floor. The stair itself, designed by MCM and manufactured by EeStairs, is a focal point as you enter the building.
Steven Bray, Senior Creative Advisor at EeStairs UK commented: "The Bird & Bird feature staircase is an extraordinary example of where elliptical geometry, a towering 6.2m floor height and the presence of four large landings contributed to the complexity of the design, manufacture and installation stages.
"With the staircase making a long elliptical journey punctuated by landings, the pursuit for structural performance was a significant challenge requiring the discreet placement of 12 tonnes of mild steel and the development of an incredibly stiff inner balustrade. EeStairs’ craftsmen rose to the challenges associated with forming the complex elliptical EeSoffit and steel balustrade with integrated handrail whilst the fitting team focused on ensuring that the stair was installed perfectly and prepared for the cold spray antique bronze liquid metal finish.”
Due to the high quality of the base building, finishes were selected that respected both its design and finishes. MCM took a great deal of care to ensure that the finishes of the fit-out were of the same high standard and matched or complemented the base building.
At the heart of the building is the 11th floor, a central hub for staff to grab a coffee or a bite to eat, and where they can hold informal meetings throughout the day in a space specifically built to enhance collaboration. The lightness and brightness of the 11th floor and the tremendous views across London from the terrace help to make it a relaxed and dynamic atmosphere for all staff.
In the office areas, MCM have taken advantage of the excellent natural light and views by placing desks around the perimeter of the building. Opting to move in to a more open plan environment also had an impact on fit-out costs, which were substantially reduced.
To ensure that the integrity of the design concept was maintained throughout the construction MCM worked closely and successfully with the contractor, Structuretone, under the design and build contract. The whole team worked seamlessly together – and the result is a testament of what a fully integrated team, including client, landlord team, design team and contractor, can achieve.
Product Description. An attractive feature staircase created by international staircase specialist, EeStairs – which is finished in a liquid metal antique bronze acts as a focal point in the new office’s reception, offering four landings and elliptical geometry. The grand staircase, which is over 6 metres tall in height was designed by MCM Architecture and manufactured by EeStairs as the two firms that have collaborated a number of times worked together once again.
Created from fabricated from mild steel with a plate steel inner balustrade it features an illuminated recessed handrail and EeStairs’ luxurious, glossy EeSoffit finish, a cnc processed polymer soffit that is incredibly stable and durable.