Caruso St John Architects

Location: London, UK
Client: HDG Ltd
Project Status: Study

This new office building is designed to replace former warehouse buildings at 19/20 Garlick Hill and 4 Skinners Lane in the City of London, next to Sir Christopher Wren’s English Baroque church of St James Garlickhythe, which is Grade 1 listed.

Our design responds in its massing and material qualities to the close proximity of the church so that its setting is preserved and enhanced. The design is conceived as a solid body of four storeys surmounted by a light, glassy pavilion. The total volume of the solid body has been set roughly to follow the heights of the adjoining buildings in Garlick Hill and Skinners Lane, which results in generous internal floor heights.

This generosity in scale and the glazed clay skin of the facades are intended to reflect the robust qualities of a fine industrial building. The blue/grey tone of the faience provides a contrast to Wren’s tower’s white stone cladding, whilst the precision and tight joints, which are made possible by the use of this material, will engage with the substantial built qualities of the church. The pavilion at the top of the building is set back a full bay on Garlick Hill to give the building a subtle frontality that addresses the open space outside the church.