JS: There’s a demand from some sectors for bigger floorplates, with everyone on one floor as opposed to be separated vertically through a building. Do the high-density zones you build in restrict you in terms of delivering that?
PC: To a certain extent, developing offices in a historic city such as London, with its controlled planning regime, you’re always dealing with compromises and challenges. Although many occupiers may initially prefer a larger floorplate, we’ve been able to demonstrate that the introduction of inter-communicating showpiece staircases can offer occupiers the same levels of efficiency and communication.
JS: Some of the defining features of your development at London Wall Place are the walkways and the public realm outside. How big a role does public realm play in your office schemes?
PC: It’s an interesting question. The nature of the site at London Wall Place is such that we were restricted on the height of the buildings. Because of the existing buildings and the rights of light and daylight and sunlight to the Barbican, the buildings couldn’t be massive square blocks. So we chose to incorporate a public realm environment that created a destination. At London Wall Place, it is the quality and extent of the landscaped areas and walkways that define the scheme, rather than just the office buildings themselves.
This post was extracted from Exchange, Make’s new thought leadership series which explores some of the challenges and trends that the property industry is encountering. Issue No. 1 in the series looks at the workplace and is available to read and download.