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City of London approves all-electric office retrofit at 65 Gresham Street

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January 2024

Squire & Partners has gained planning consent for the retrofit of 65 Gresham Street to deliver an exemplar all-electric office building in the heart of the City of London for JP Morgan Asset Management.

The proposals will see the retrofit and extension of 65 Gresham Street, reinstating it as a prime office location and an internationally recognised address for business. Avoiding demolition through large scale reuse and regeneration, the world class office building will target a 66% whole life carbon reduction, with operational carbon targets 12% lower than the 2022 GLA criteria.

The existing eight-storey office building, which was completed in 2001, has poor energy performance and office floors which are nearing the end of their design life, with no external amenity, street level activation or renewable energy systems. The building holds an EPC C-rating which, from 2030 onwards, would render the building unlettable due to new regulations that will require commercial property to have a B-rating as minimum.

The proposed development therefore seeks to deliver one of the largest building reuse projects in the City of London, comprising over 36,800m2 of Grade A office, retail and ancillary spaces.

Four new lightweight floors take inspiration from the gothic architecture of the nearby Guildhall and its brutalist modern extension, to create a contemporary response to the surrounding architectural context.

The limestone faced precast cladding of the existing building will be largely retained, and a new dark-grey aluminium glazing façade system will create organic, neo-gothic façade extensions on floors 8 to 12. The new floors will step back at Levels 8, 10 and 12 to create external terraces, and the addition of inset balconies to existing floors will mean that outdoor space is provided on every level.

At ground floor, the expansion of existing entrances and relocation of retail space will activate the Aldermanbury streetscape, whilst the repurposing of an existing vehicle ramp will create a new cycle entrance leading to generous end of journey facilities.

More than 70% of the existing building’s structure will be retained, with 95% of materials recycled or reused on site. The 100% electric building will use air source heat pumps for heating, cooling and hot water generation, and discreet PV arrays will be located on and above the plant screen.

Tim Gledstone, Partner, Squire & Partners:

“Our proposal for 65 Gresham Street represents one of the largest retrofits and grand extensions of an existing building in the City of London.

A collaboration between our architecture and interior design teams, we are working with the building’s existing structure and enhancing energy performance to create an inspiring, collaborative workspace with state-of-the-art amenity throughout the whole building which goes above and beyond modern sustainability criteria.

Located adjacent to the historic Guildhall in one of the world’s leading business destinations, 65 Gresham Street’s new remodelled receptions and retail frontages will fully activate Aldermanbury and create an inclusive and dynamic piece of public realm, contributing to the creation of a vibrant and thriving 24-hour City.”

Duncan Campbell, Director at Atelier Ten:
“We have worked collaboratively with Squire & Partners, Longevity - who are undertaking the embodied carbon assessment - and the wider project team to develop a whole lifecycle carbon approach which aims to minimise immediate embodied carbon while reducing the operational carbon through the building’s useful life. Through the creative reuse of the existing building, we truly believe that 65 Gresham Street will be a world class office building that will deliver everything today’s tenants require in terms of comfort, wellbeing and environmental performance.”

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