Bloomberg European Headquarters
Foster + Partners
- Original design
- Foster + Partners, 2017
The 2018 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2019 programme mid-August.
Bloomberg’s new European headquarters, designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners, puts sustainability, innovation, community and collaboration at the forefront. In its form, massing and materials, the building's exterior is respectful of its historic setting – a natural extension of the City that will endure and improve the surrounding public realm. Inside, its dynamic, contemporary interior is a highly specific response to the global financial information and technology company's needs and embodies the organisation’s core values of transparency, openness and collaboration.
Above all, the building sets a new standard in sustainable office design, with a BREEAM Outstanding rating of 98.5% – the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development. The development uses 70% less water and 35% less energy than a typical office building.
Occupying a full city block, the 3.2-acre site comprises two buildings united by bridges that span a pedestrian arcade that reinstates Watling Street, an ancient Roman road that once ran through the site. Bloomberg Arcade is now a key food destination and travel route for people moving around the City, with independent restaurants and cafes at ground level. Three public plazas, located at each end of the arcade and in front of the building’s entrance, provide new civic space in the heart of the Square Mile.
The building's striking façade is defined by a structural sandstone frame, with a series of large-scale bronze fins that shade the floor-to-ceiling glazing. The fins give the building a visual hierarchy and rhythm as they vary in scale, pitch and density across each façade according to orientation and solar exposure, while being an integral part of the building’s natural ventilation system.
Designed to complement historic neighbouring structures and to age gracefully with time, the Bloomberg building is the biggest stone project in the City of London for a century, featuring 9,600 tonnes of Derbyshire sandstone. It blends locally sourced, natural materials with the best of international craftsmanship.
Art plays a central role in the project, with major site-specific commissions in and around the building. Cristina Iglesias’ water sculpture in three parts, ‘Forgotten Streams’ – pays homage to the ancient Walbrook River that once flowed through the site – defines the public spaces at each end of Bloomberg Arcade.
The Bloomberg building also returns the archaeological remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras to the site of their original discovery at London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, a new cultural hub designed to give visitors an immersive experience of the temple and bring the history of the site to life.
The building’s interiors are designed to inspire collaboration and innovation. The cores have been pushed to the edges to visually open the floors and reveal a distinctive, spiralling ramp, a sculptural walkway that brings people together and encourages chance interactions as employees travel through the building.
Arriving at the main entrance, ell employees and visitors pass through the reception lobby before being drawn into the Vortex – a dramatic double-height space created by three inclined, curving timber shells. From here, high-speed fully-glazed lifts with a unique concealed mechanism – another innovation developed specifically for the building – carry everyone directly to the sixth floor.
Central to Bloomberg’s ethos, the double-height ‘pantry’ on the sixth floor is the heart of the building, reflecting the importance of sharing and collaboration at the company. Everyone passes through this animated space, increasing the likelihood of chance meetings and informal discussions.
The notion of teamwork and collaboration flows into the desking systems and layout of each floor. Bespoke height-adjustable, radial desks are laid out in clusters and pods for up to six people, allowing for privacy, personalisation, wellbeing and collaborative working.
The ceiling is another unique and innovative element developed for the building. Its distinctive polished aluminium panels of ‘petals’ perform multiple roles – light reflectors, cooling elements and acoustic attenuation – combining various elements of a typical office ceiling into an integrated, energy-saving system.