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A form of reconciliation: New court by OMA with Allies & Morrison.

view from a distance

With bankers and banks in the firing line, it seems brave to enter New Court, which is a headquarters for a corporate bank, for the Stirling Prize. It is also one of many City of London head quarter buildings which tend to be corporate, lavish, expensive, occasionally well designed and invariably macho in the architectural sense. So what is the fuss about this HQ?

The first design point to note is that the new building reinstates the view between St Swithin's and St Stephen Walbrook churches, the latter designed by Christopher Wren. London planning authorities are zealous about the views of the City's old churches particularly St Paul's Cathedral also by Wren.

The building was designed by OMA with Allies & Morrison as the local agent delivering the base build, and the fit-out.

The new building creates a central cube of ten open plan office floors. The cube connects to archive, cores and auxiliary accommodation. There is also a “Sky Pavilion” which gives good views of the City.

Perhaps responding to the demands of the age, the new public areas at ground level suggest a greater level of public interaction with the bank, or “public presence” as the RIBA puts it.

Rothschild’s has been in London since 1809. During that time, they have amassed a good collection of art and artefacts which by all accounts is skilfully displayed and quoted from in various ways throughout the building.

Looking up from the narrow streets.

Structure at ground.

an entrance.

View from the "Sky Pavilion"

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