This design for an office building in London by David Chipperfield Architects fully understands and positively engages with its urban setting without fuss or overstatement. Extremely economical in its planning and construction methodology, it still manages to present itself with a sense of grandeur on all four sides, but particularly towards the public space of St Pancras Square to the south.
The standard concrete slab and column language for high-rise offices is here elevated to another level by the use of 396 cast iron columns described on the Chipperfield website as: ‘Cast by a foundry in Halifax with a surface pattern of woven straps, the columns are both a reminder of the site’s industrial past and a nod to Gottfried Semper’s theory about the role of weaving in the evolution of man-made structures.’
Although dark grey in colour, the metallic finish reads differently depending on how each column catches and reflects the light.
The columns stand separate from the walls on the south and around the double-height ground floor base of the building but are incorporated into the walls elsewhere. Between the columns is a carefully considered wall module containing full height windows with opening panels on either side to allow for natural ventilation. Overall the building is carefully composed, caringly planned and meticulously detailed within seemingly tight economic considerations.
Place: One Pancras Square
Architect: David Chipperfield
Photographer: Stephen Varady
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