Nesta – Inspired design creates new ‘innovation hub’
A striking, creatively designed new office building, known as VIEW 58, constructed behind a retained facade at 58 Victoria Embankment, North Bank, London, has been purchased by independent innovation charity Nesta, and is now the organisation’s new headquarters.
Providing Grade A office space, the highly sustainable building was completed in September this year.
The speculative project to construct the new building on the north bank of the Thames in central London, was undertaken by joint venture partners Kier Property and FORE Partnership, the pan-European real estate investment club for family offices and private investors.
Lead consultant and architect for the project was tp bennett.
With a mission to drive innovation in the UK, Nesta is creating an innovation hub at the development, providing high-quality, flexible office and collaboration space for organisations that share the same goal.
Initial site works comprised demolition of the existing building and boundary wall, whilst retaining the south façade with a complex retention system. The building was also constructed over an active tube line.
The narrow site presented a host of challenges for the design team and is bordered by buildings on three sides and by St Paul’s viewing corridor above.
The retained façade provided the only access point to the site, as well as the main source of daylight and views.
To balance this, tp bennett carefully engineered the access, fire, servicing and daylight strategy to ensure the interior of the building had visual connectivity to the outside and lots of natural light. The fully glazed atrium, with its feature balconies and lifts, also provided added animation to the office space.
Yvette Hanson, Principal Director at tp bennett, said: “The team is particularly proud of the thoughtful way that sustainability was integrated into the project. From the inclusion of an active atrium that floods the building with natural light and animates the space with glass lifts, balconies and walkways, to the small details around materials and energy-saving features.
“The approach to sustainability was a key factor in the early sale of the building.”
The 53,000 sq ft building that sat behind the retained façade was demolished and replaced with a new 70,000 sq ft nine-storey building, including basement.
The development has been sensitively designed to retain the historic feel of the façade, while providing a contemporary, highly-functional office environment behind it. Each floor opens into a central atrium and has exposed lifts and walkways.
The external envelope comprises a retained brick façade, with curtain walled additions above and a new brick infill wall to light wells adjacent to the neighbouring Telephone House.
Elevational features include flush toggle fixed, clear solar control glass with glass to glass junctions.
Roofing includes a reconstructed turret and mansard roofing with traditional Welsh slate.
By adjusting the floor levels internally, the scheme cleverly connects the building to the public space around it with a new street level entrance, which greatly enhances the character of the local streetscape.
The design of the building includes rainwater harvesting, high performance insulation technology, turbo-cooled chillers, LED lighting, smart metering and high performance photovoltaic cells to help reduce its impact on the environment.
The design is intended to surpass a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. In addition, during the demolition process, 99% of waste was diverted from landfill and recycled.
In addition, the building is fully DDA compliant with best practice features such as handed WCs on each floor and level access at ground floor and on both main terraces.