JRA completes extensive revamp of former Daily Mail headquarters

John Robertson Architects (JRA) has successfully completed the redesign and renovation of The Northcliffe, the historic former headquarters and print works of the Daily Mail newspaper. The project, on Tudor Street in the City of London, has preserved the Grade II-listed façade of the original 1920s building, while providing extended and modernised spaces on the upper two floors and three landscaped roof terraces.

The new design has sought to prioritise sustainability, with approximately 200,000 sq ft of workspace retrofitted to align with eco-conscious principles. JRA’s efforts to retain the existing superstructure and façade have contributed to embodied carbon savings. The refurbishment was carefully planned, taking into account local consultations with businesses, residents, and City of London Corporation officers to ensure the project’s success.

The Northcliffe now boasts a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification. JRA’s approach incorporated measures such as simultaneous heating and cooling using air source heat pumps, enhanced wall and roof insulation, new PV panels at roof level, and end-of-journey facilities like cycle storage, showers, and lockers.

Among the key design features, a reimagined atrium takes centre stage, providing natural daylight to office spaces across all upper levels and promoting collaboration among occupants. The reception area has been re-positioned to include lounge spaces, a library for agile working, and a quiet room for focused tasks.

The addition of semi-exposed ceilings throughout the building, extended workspace on Levels 5 and 6, and rooftop terraces on Levels 5-7 with extensive urban greening elements contribute to increased biodiversity and encourage the use of outdoor spaces by occupants.

Preserving the building’s historical significance, the listed façade, designed by Ellis & Clarke in 1925, has been carefully refurbished. The octagonal turret added in 1929 at Level 5 has been repurposed as a flexible amenity space accessible from the Level 5 terrace.

The Northcliffe marks the third former newspaper headquarters building in the City of London on which JRA has worked. In the past decade, the firm has also delivered refurbishments for the Daily Express building in Fleet Street and Bracken House, the Financial Times newspaper headquarters, both of which hold listed status.

Project Team:

Architect: John Robertson Architects (JRA)

Development Manager: M3 Consulting

Structural Engineer: Waterman Structures Ltd

M&E consultant / Sustainability Consultant: Watkins Payne

QS: Gardiner + Theobald

Fire Engineering Consultant: Jenson Hughes

Landscape Consultant: Townshend Landscape Architects

Facade Consultant: Thornton Tomasetti

Acoustic Consultant: Hann Tucker Associates

Security Consultant: Troup Bywaters & Anders

Façade Access & Maintenance Consultant: D2E

Lighting Consultant: Watkins Payne

Principal Designer: John Robertson Architects (JRA) / Bureau Veritas

Approved Building Inspector: Sweco Building Control

Main Contractor: ISG

Heritage Consultant: KM Heritage

Daylight & Sunlight Consultant: Point 2 Surveyors

Planning Consultant: DP9

Transport Consultant: Sweco

Image Credits: Peter Cook & Guy Archard