Blackfriars Crown Court is being redeveloped to create 385,000 sq ft of contemporary and sustainable office, commercial and community space. It will be London's first office building to deliver a rooftop urban forest of over 125 established trees and 10,000 plants. The building will have best in class environmental and wellbeing accreditations including BREEAM 'Outstanding', WELL Platinum and WiredScore Platinum.
Designed by award-winning architects Studio RHE and Sheppard Robson, the existing two-storey court will be extended to six storeys using a lightweight hybrid steel frame, incorporating steel reclaimed from another building. The office spaces will have generous floor to ceiling heights, an abundance of natural light and opening windows for natural ventilation, demand controlled underfloor ventilation to optimise Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as well as flexible atrium pods and staircases to allow maximum adaptability and connectivity throughout the space.
The wellbeing of the building’s occupiers is key to its design, with access to nature through terraces and the 1.4 acre rooftop urban forest with restaurant, bar and a glass-floored infinity edge swimming pool heated by the building’s waste heat. Active travel has also been embedded with a two-storey cycle ramp weaving into the building, extensive cycle parking, showers and changing facilities.
The public and local community will also have access to the Harris Bugg Studio-designed rooftop forest. A 3,000 sq ft community barn will be available for anyone to use, alongside seedbanks, potting sheds and self-serve tea and coffee. Amenities at street level include an accessible green atrium, auditorium and community space and café. A new thoroughfare between adjoining streets will run through the heart of the building, creating further links to the neighbourhood.
Winner - Unbuilt - New London Awards 2021