• 21 November 2019

Redefining The Minster Building

Owned by Ivanhoé Cambridge, the iconic 292,000 ft2 Grade A office building is a prominent feature in the heart of London’s insurance district.

The extensive refurbishment, led by Greycoat and designed by architect BuckleyGrayYeoman (BGY), has brought new life to the building’s original 1990’s design, providing a vibrant work place for its occupants with its impressive 65,000 ft2 of café, restaurant, bar and retail amenities.

Redefining elegance

As part of the site’s architectural transformation, the original escalator rising through the central atrium, which was once the largest in Europe, was removed and the remaining balcony space repurposed as additional office space, increasing the lettable area from 275,000 ft2 to 292,000 ft2. The dramatic 21 m wide, eight-storey atrium optimises the use of natural light in the reception and office areas through the carefully considered use of curved glass, whilst textured jesmonite panels, marble and bronze materials give a feeling of opulence.

Communal facilities within the building have been designed to meet the client’s vision of boosting its tenant’s productivity and promoting a better work / life balance. These include a contemporary Wi-Fi enabled lounge in partnership with Crussh Fit Food & Juice Bar, 250 bicycle spaces, spa-like lockers and shower facilities at basement level.

With a second reception facing Minster Court’s central courtyard to the north of the building, the 35,000 ft2 floorplates benefit from exceptional views across the Thames and Tower of London.

In order to redefine the building’s presence within the local area, the façade at ground level was enhanced with high-performance glazing and architectural detailing to modernise the retail frontage
whilst a dynamic new entrance was also created on the corner of Great Tower Street and Mincing Lane.

Modern design solutions 

Waterman were appointed to provided multidisciplinary design services throughout this ambitious project.

Working closely alongside BGY, our structures team developed a solution that allowed complex cantilevering transfer beams to be installed within the first floor of the atrium so four columns could be removed from the upper ground floor, forming a double-height reception and premier breakout facilities. This involved a multi-phased sequence of temporary and permanent column jacking works to pre-deflect the transfer structures prior to removing the columns between the floors. The installation of a concrete floor supported on void former created a new grade level main entrance on the corner of Great Tower Street and Mincing Lane, dramatically improving the connectivity with the internal atrium hub.

Elsewhere, our M&E team designed the new building services strategy, replacing the existing plant with a more energy efficient system that reduced carbon emissions by 42%, helping the client to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating. Each office unit has been fitted out to Cat A standard and is adaptable to the tenant’s specific preferences for their own final fit-out, on-floor break out and kitchen areas. A carefully integrated climate control strategy was installed within the atrium by hiding the cooling and ventilation system in the sculptured wall shadow gap.

To cater for the demands of modern occupiers and increased occupation within the building, the existing passenger lifts were replaced to incorporate eight new 21-person lifts with destination control, improving performance and allowing flexibility for a variety of tenants.

Mark Terndrup, Director of Building Services, commented; “The Minster Building represents one of the best in class commercial refurbishments of 2018. It has been a delight for Waterman to be a part of the team that has so successfully transformed this once outdated building into an exciting new workplace.” 

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