The former Royal Mail building at 160 Old Street, London has been transformed into a contemporary office building, attracting a major new occupier which has taken 116,500 sq ft. The Great Ropemaker Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture partnership between Great Portland Estates plc and Ropemaker Properties Ltd worked with Orms to add space in multiple locations around the site, making the most of the existing structural frame and creating a 65% increase in usable space.
The 166,300 sq ft refurbishment includes 153,000sq ft of office accommodation over eleven floors. Two additional top storeys were added in the redesign and four new retail units along the Old Street frontage have created 6,780, sq ft of retail and restaurant accommodation to enliven the street frontage.
A new single storey pavilion forms the building entrance – moved from the corner of Old Street to the quieter Bunhill Row frontage. It connects the two original, but separated, lift cores with a direct internal link into the corner retail unit. This pavilion gives a human scale to a large building and light has been carefully manipulated to ensure that people are constantly walking towards daylight with glimpsed views through openings to the outside world.
The external architecture responds to three different urban scales. Subtle detailing of the white and dark brickwork panels creates a fusion of vertical and horizontal elements. This unites the three separate buildings into a coherent composition.