May 14, 2008Foster + Partners
has completed a new UK
headquarters for Willis
at 51 Lime Street in the City
. The project is significant in both urban and environmental terms. Open and integrated at street level, its shops and cafés extend the spirit of nearby Leadenhall Market; and its progressive environmental strategy surpasses statutory carbon reduction targets by more than 20 per cent.
The development comprises two separate buildings which step down to a public plaza. Located to the east of the Lloyd’s Building
, the 9-storey building at 1 Fenchurch Street responds to the smaller scale of Billiter Street and Fenchurch Avenue, while the 28-storey Willis Building
rises to the west of the site. The smaller building’s concave façade shapes the plaza and its curved corners maintain important view corridors, as well as reinstating an historic route through the site. A fringe of shops, cafés and bars at its base together with linear seating and landscaping, combine to enhance the public realm.Norman Foster
said: "Thirty years ago we worked with Willis
to challenge the conventions of an office building. Today, we are delighted to have completed their new UK
headquarters at 51 Lime Street. A collaboration with both Willis
and British Land
, this building has come out of a very different design process, yet continues the practice’s commitment to developing humane, flexible and dynamic workplaces that are both informed by, and woven into, the urban fabric."