20 Ropemaker Street – A new landmark for London’s skyline
Rising 128 m above Moorgate in the City of London, 20 Ropemaker Street will punctuate Islington’s skyline with its striking truncated design. By creating 450,000 ft² of Grade A, BREEAM ‘Outstanding’-certified offices, with 10,000 ft² of premium retail space and over 20,000 ft² of external terraces, the completed scheme will become the London Borough of Islington’s largest ever project.
Located close to the new Crossrail entrance at Moorgate station, the development offers dynamic work space for major businesses looking to utilise the excellent transport links and the wider regeneration of the area.
With a focus on user experience, Old Park Lane Management’s 27-storey development sets a new standard for office buildings. To deliver this, architect Make’s striking design has three central themes – the wellness of occupants, connectivity of spaces and the creation of a community of businesses. 76% of occupants will have access to external space via a balcony or one of the building’s five roof terraces, with all tenants able to utilise the community space at the entrance atrium. Featuring green walls and lush planting, this dynamic area will offer a café, a variety of event spaces and a place for flexible working.
Externally, the building’s vertical rhythm will be highlighted with stone corners and secondary horizontal panels wrapping the building. These provide solar shading, obscure desk clutter and will create a ladderstyle effect when viewed from street-level. 20 Ropemaker Street’s external materials were specifically selected to echo classical design, with contrasting stone and ceramic surfaces creating texture, helping the towering façade blend with neighbouring structures.
Working alongside developer, Great Elm Assets Ltd and principal contractor, Skanska, our team are providing structural, geotechnical and environmental consultancy services for the £240m scheme. We also liaised with Network Rail, Crossrail, London Underground and party wall consultants to ensure the smooth delivery of the development at this bustling City of London location.
Under the guidance of contractor, Keltbray, demolition of the existing buildings is nearing completion and the redevelopment is now underway, with piling and substructure work in progress. To facilitate this, our geotechnical specialists developed a detailed ground engineering model which was integrated with the piling and structural BIM model to provide predicted ground movements and the impact on third party assets.
Magic Circle multinational law firm, Linklaters, recently secured 310,000 ft² of prime office space at 20 Ropemaker to create their new HQ. Our structures team have worked alongside Old Park Lane Management, CO-RE, Great Elm Assets Ltd and Make architects to incorporate Linklaters’ requirements into both the building contract and enabling works, bringing all required enhancements up to RIBA Stage 4 in a very short timeframe, protecting the scheduled completion of the scheme in mid-2023.
Our infrastructure and environment specialists have now successfully closed out all demolition and enabling works planning conditions relating to Network Rail, Crossrail, London Underground and Thames Water. To deliver this, we planned and executed a ‘submission and approval’ strategy to suit the construction programme. Submissions for these key approvals were based on our iterative foundation design, responding to specific structural and geotechnical aspects. The successful completion of this process resulted in significant savings for the piling scheme, reaping benefits in both costs and programme.
We have also been heavily involved with the design development of the superstructure, with our structures team taking a flexible approach to effectively address a variety of procurement and fabrication challenges. Working collaboratively with Skanska and their preferred steel contractor, we have incorporated changes to the superstructure framing, harnessing the contractor’s specialist fabrication processes. Construction programme benefits have been made by adapting the form, constituent pieces and connections of the four Vierendeel south facing ‘ladder frames’ which provide lateral stability for the new structure.
Julian Traxler, Waterman’s Director for Structures, says; “We are thrilled to be working on this exciting landmark project for Old Park Lane Management. The project team has gelled extremely well, forming a project development and delivery collective with the common goal of making this a successful project for all. We look forward to seeing the scheme progress towards completion over the coming years.”