As city-dwellers and the flurry of workers in the City of London scurry through a sky-scraper looming grid of office buildings, they may be in for a pleasant surprise as they come across the architectural marvel of Bloomberg’s new European HQ — winner of The Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize. The HQ, which is thought to be the largest stone architectural building in the City of London since St Paul’s Cathedral, has been credited as the world’s most sustainable office despite spanning an entire city block.
The pioneering building has a paired back exterior, allowing the building to seamlessly sit within the city and, to put it lightly, lets the dynamism of the interior speak for itself. Comprised of two buildings connected by a bridge, the HQ features a public arcade at its centre which re-establishes an ancient Roman road. The building also houses a museum displaying the Roman Temple of Mithras, which was discovered on the site sixty years ago — if you needed further reason to go check out this sweet architectural delight.
Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies, initial focus for the building was to be neither the tallest or shiniest of the city, rather his aim was to be a ‘good neighbour’, with the sensitive, handcrafted stone exterior of the HQ seamlessly suited to its surroundings and featuring three new public spaces which open-up the area to those who encounter it.
“When we embarked on this project, we wanted to create a cutting-edge design that would push the boundaries of what an office building could be, which meant setting new standards for openness and sustainability. At the same time, we wanted to honour London’s history and contribute to its vitality. We knew that if we could achieve both objectives, we’d have a building that would inspire everyone who set foot inside it,” he has said.
Lord Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners, worked closely in collaboration with Michael Bloomberg, and says of the RIBA Sterling Prize winner, “From our first discussions to the final details of the project, Mike Bloomberg and I had a ‘meeting of minds’ on every aspect of the project – its sustainable focus, commitment to innovation and drive to create the best workplace for Bloomberg employees. The RIBA Stirling Prize is a testament to the incredible collaborative spirit that has underpinned the entire project from start to finish.”