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New Foster and Nouvel Plans For The City

A wrecking ball looks set to finally make a long deserved acquaintance with Bucklersbury House in the City of London. The headquarters of financial group, Legal and General, is one of the infamous sixties modernist blocks that appear prominently in the view from Waterloo that age has not been kind to.

The new plans for the site dubbed Walbrook Square by Legal & General have been made possible by the relocation of their headquarters up to London Wall. They will see the 3.7 acre site redeveloped into a cluster of buildings designed by the architects Norman Foster and Jean Nouvel.

The tallest building will be 106 metres, 22 storeys and have 33,000 square metres of space. Most controversially is the top of the building that the architects hope will appear cloud-like, something that will prove to be a major challenge to realise if it is not design-engineered out to provide a more profitable finish.

The three shorter ones will range between 66 and 71 metres in height. The four buildings will sit in corners of the site that are to be divided by two pedestrian routes, one running north / south and the other east / west.

Although not particularly tall, these buildings definitely stand out, especially so from the South Bank for the simple reason that there is little of any height surrounding them. Despite it's current stumpy form, the existing Bucklersbury House provides a landmark so these planned buildings ranging from 15 metres taller will appear even more prominent, hence the need for transparent air-like crowns.

From a property manager perspective the site is perfect for new development thanks to the close proximity to Cannon Street train station. It has been identified as such by the property developer Minerva who are speculatively building their Walbrook development practically next door, as well as plans by Rothschild that have yet to see the light of day for a new tower designed by Rem Koolhaas in the same small area.

In addition to the new buildings, some thought will be put into the historical significance of the site. Development of the existing buildings revealed in 1957 an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras. The temple was uprooted and moved to Temple Court whilst the statues it contained were put in the Museum of London.

Now the development will include a special centre on site to house the remains of the Roman structure and site it once more in the local context it originally stood next to the Walbrook River. Followers of Mithraism in London will be thrilled.

Article Related buildings:

Bucklersbury House

Bucklersbury House
Walbrook Square Building 1

Walbrook Square Building 1
The Walbrook

The Walbrook