BroadGate Exchange House

Exchange House has been awarded the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) the prestigious 25-Year Award for 2015. SOM designed and engineered the building, completed it in 1990 and located in London’s Broadgate Development.
Courtesy of SOM

Courtesy of SOM

As part of the announcement, the AIA stated: “Exchange House, an elegant ten-story office building that spans over the merging tracks of London’s Liverpool Street Station, is located in London’s Broadgate Development. As one of the last remaining areas for development at Broadgate, SOM was able to envision an opportunity to resolve these challenges through a multi-faceted approach encompassing architecture, engineering, and masterplanning“.
Photography of Alan Williams

Photography of Alan Williams

It is an elegant ten-story office building, one of 14 buildings in London’s Broadgate development. SOM spanned the tracks with parabolic steel arches, the most efficient solution, combining formal dynamism, efficient use of materials and ease of erection. The building is suspended over the rail lines below via four parallel archways which enables a column-free interior.
Baker: “The construction sequence was a big deal. We had the steel on temporary supports until we could close the arch. The engineers were worried about loads jumping around. We jacked up the entire building 50 millimeters, to be able to control the unloading of the temporary shores. Then we put the building back down again“.
Photography of Nick Guttridge

Photography of Nick Guttridge

Only 5% of its footprint touches the ground that brings an open space beneath, connecting Exchange Square to the south to Primrose Street to the north. It was possible to create the plaza by threading small columns through the rail lines below on an irregular spacing. This solution generated the largest civic space within the City of London, but also established Exchange House as the gateway to the development.
The project amounted to one of the largest net additions of new infrastructure in one of the world’s densest cities. It also catalyzed the development of new streetscapes, lawns, bridges, and plazas in the area. Exchange House is located within the Broadgate Development, a mixed-use district master planned by us“, explained SOM. Today, it is jointly owned by British Land and GIC.
Project Information:
<Location : London, United Kingdom
Project Year : 1990
Total Area : 51.100 square meters
Building Height : 65 meters

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