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High Performing Buildings – September's Roundup

High Performing Buildings – September's Roundup
28 September 2022

This month’s high-performing buildings roundup features shortlisted projects from NLA’s annual New London Awards, presented in association with the Mayor of London.


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What Are The New London Awards?


These awards celebrate all scales of projects, from community-led to large-scale mixed-use developments that contribute to a vision for a new sustainable London.

Particular attention is given to projects that intend to improve the standards of new design and respect London’s mix of old and new, support the regeneration of its towns, and strive to improve the usability of its public spaces. 

2021’s NLA winners include 100 Liverpool Street and Agar Grove.

In this year’s workplace category, inspiring working environments from office buildings and co-working hubs to affordable workspaces have been collated, as best practice examples of new design.


Plantworks for Sturgeon Capital


Using biophilic design principles, Plantworks is a former mirror workshop turned wellbeing-focused workplace in the London Borough of Camden.

Situated to the rear of 1-3 Britannia Street, the building features integrated urban planting and stunning living walls. The site has over 7,800 plants of more than 20 varieties, delivering 106kg of CO2 extraction annually.  Workers can even take advantage of an indoor farming scheme where melons, blueberries, passion fruit and lemons can be harvested.

Designers Marek Wojciechowski Architects and Kono Designs have created a workplace that they hope will safeguard the site for employment and enhance the heritage of the area. The 6,592 sq ft workspace site has already achieved BREEAM Excellent rating and an EPC rating of B.



Picture: a photograph of an interior stairwell and landing space at Plantworks. Image Credit: CC/Edmund Sumner 


Somerset House Studios for Somerset House Trust


Also shortlisted under the workplace category, Somerset House Studios, based in Grade I listed former Inland Revenue offices, is an experimental workspace for artists and makers, aiming to tackle London’s shortage of affordable creative workspaces.

Architects AOC worked closely with Somerset House Trust and resident artists to provide new public galleries, affordable creative studios and social spaces.



Picture: a photograph of a communal kitchen area. Image Credit: Philip Vile 


The majority of previous office spaces were converted into shared and solo occupancy studios, with new floor boxes, built-in shelves and coat hooks amongst the existing marble mantelpieces and cast iron stoves. Late 20th century Inland Revenue office desks have also been adapted with painted timber extensions.

A number of rooms were left as found, with only discrete acoustic treatments and servicing conducted.

Speaking at the opening of Somerset House Studios in 2016, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “ I want the artists of tomorrow to be able to fulfil their potential and follow in the footsteps of their role models so that London can continue to be the cultural capital of the world.”


Bloom Clerkenwell for HB Reavis


Bloom Clerkenwell, an office space situated over Farringdon’s Crossrail station, is the first commercial building in the UK to achieve all three of the top wellness certifications.

The building was awarded WELL Certified Platinum in June 2022 and BREEAM Outstanding in May 2022, having achieved WiredScore Platinum in 2019.

Approximately 11 per cent of the building comprises landscaped terraces (15,400 sq ft), meaning Bloom has one of the highest office-to-terrace ratios of any building in London, offering year-round access to the outdoors. The communal edible garden grows fruit and herbs and creates a space that allows people to relax and manage stress.

Bloom is home to a multi-purpose fitness studio (1,200 sq ft) with equipment for classes and individual use. With no membership fees for employees working within the building, the studio is another option for space to unwind and stay healthy.

Picture: a photograph of a living wall at Plantworks. Image Credit: CC/Edmund Sumner 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 28 September 2022


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