Bloomberg HQ, London, UK



Architect
Foster + Partners
Date Built
2000
Location
50 Finsbury Square
Description
This building overlooking Finsbury Square is an extension to Bloomberg's HQ building, City Gate House, just visible on the left of the image below.  City Gate House was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1920s and this building was added 80 years later by Foster & Partners.  Foster's website says of the project that it responded, "... to a prestigious location in the corner of one of London’s most important squares, the project was an opportunity to create a new city block that would define the square’s enclosure and provide flexible, light-filled office space for a dynamic media corporation."



They point out that, "The demolition of the two existing buildings gave the amalgamated site street exposure on three facades.  Its situation on the square carried with it some of the most prescriptive planning constraints in London, including cornice and height limitations, and the requirement for a stone building to suit the character of the existing traditional buildings.  The solution employs stone to make a structural frame and infill tramsoms, forming a semi-transparent cube that wraps around and screens the glass office building it encloses. This stone exoskeleton is punctuated on Finsbury Square by two key spaces. At ground level a double height entrance is formed by a diagonal stone wall leading from the corner to the entrance lobby. At the top of the building, the required setback has been exploited to make a double height terrace with commanding views of the square."

Within is a modern office space that provides Bloombergs with the transparency that they believe enhances their productivity.  They brag that there are no enclosed offices and employees work side-by-side in large open spaces.  Glass bridges and a glass roof ensure that natural light streams through the building.  Open House London paint a picture of the working environment, "... Entering from Finsbury Square, the ground floor entrance lobby is animated by direct views into the main studios broadcasting live television.  Upon entering the office, you will see a reception that feels like a café, space dividers in the form of tropical reef tanks and innovative meeting areas. ...  Entering from Finsbury Square, the ground floor entrance lobby is animated by direct views into the main studios broadcasting live television.  The 24-hour reception and pantry creates a cosmopolitan interactive zone where employees and visitors can meet over refreshments."