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Saturday26 July 2014

Charterhouse Quarter gateway scheme quietly complements its historic surroundings

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Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands gains planning permission for commercial development on several protected viewing corridors

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has secured planning for a new commercial development at the gateway to the “Charterhouse Quarter” of Farringdon and Smithfield in the London Borough of Islington.

Commissioned by Henderson Global Investors, Charterhouse Place will provide 15,400sq m of office space over nine storeys and 1,400sq m of retail space at ground floor level. It will occupy the site of the former Caxton House, a now-demolished 1960s tower on the corner of Farringdon Road and Charterhouse Street.

Responding to the historic context, the facades are articulated to define a base building and an upper building — the latter appearing lightweight as the floors step back away from Charterhouse Street, with the lower building responding to the varying scales of the neighbouring buildings along the street.

The project also sits within two viewing corridors to St Paul’s Cathedral, and within several locally protected views, so the massing of the building has been sculpted to respect these.

The material palette includes natural stone cladding on the lower building, with a lightweight aluminium and full-height glazing system on the upper floors.

Greened outdoor terrace space is planned for the 2nd, 5th, 7th and 9th floors, while at roof-level photovoltaic cells will cover the whole area not required for atrium glazing and communications and plant equipment. Charterhouse Place is designed to achieve a Breeam rating of “Excellent” and makes use of extensive sustainability strategies including a biofuel combined-heat-and-power plant and grey water recycling.

Chris Waite, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands associate director in charge of the project, said: “Our work at Charterhouse Place was all about creating a landmark development that doesn’t overwhelm the charm of its surroundings.”

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