Thames Court is one of a series of highly successful innovative workplace projects on which the partners of PLP have worked. In acclaiming it the Best National Urban Workplace (1999), the British Council for Offices commended the project for its “lively use of materials and detailing (including artwork) in circulation areas, avoiding the safe ‘institutional vanilla’ of so many comparable schemes” and as “a plan that responds well to the site, with maximum advantage taken of the river frontage, whilst at the other end of the site an effective buffer zone is placed between occupiers and the traffic noise on Upper Thames Street.” The project is the recipient of numerous design awards.
The key to the building is its section: a dynamic progression of spaces from north (the busy highway) to south (the tranquillity of the River Thames). On Upper Thames Street, a great stone portal frames the entrance elevation enclosing a glazed screen. The reception area forms an acoustic buffer zone to mediate the noise of the street. The office floors are beyond, arranged on five upper floors and one basement level.
A project of
Kohn Pedersen Fox (International) PA
in which the following people at PLP Architecture were involved: Lee Polisano was partner-in-charge; Mark Kelly, senior architect; Rob Peebles, specialist structures designer; Neil Merryweather, head model maker.
Markborough Properties Limited
Mixed-use: Offices, Retail
2001 ULI Award for Excellence / Small-scale Office
2000 Civic Trust Awards/Commendation
2000 The Times, Gestetner / Digital Office Collection Commendation
1999 British Steel (Corus) Structural Steel Design Award
1999 British Council for Offices National Urban Workplace of the Year
The central skylit atrium is the heart of the office environment, at second level, with perimeter floors suspended from 27 meter steel trusses to create column-free dealing space below. The louvered roof provides generous quantities of controlled natural light. The atrium’s solar shading, linked to a daylight monitor, responds to the varying light conditions throughout the day.
The energy strategy uses fresh air drawn in at basement level from the river and drawn up through the public spaces, which act as a natural plenum exhausting stale air at roof level.
Thames Court is an important addition to London’s commercial architecture and served as an exemplar for subsequent developments in the city.