Dazzling facade

The 19-metre high cylinder 3 Broadgate stands encircled between two office colossuses and is a special architectural feature in the financial district of the City of London. Despite a wide pedestrian passageway on the ground floor, the pavilion was considered a barrier by passers-by and was avoided as best as possible. Thanks to Orms Architects London, 3 Broadgate now impresses as a large archway with a shimmering metal shell and a new identity.

During the financial boom of the 1980s, a number of large office buildings were built in the City of London. Between Liverpool Station and Finsbury Avenue Square, British architect Peter Foggo designed a three-part office complex with a high-quality granite facade and a post-modern look. The addresses 1-2, 3 and 5 Broadgate were designed as a coherent urban cluster with a uniform facade and there were many voices that would have liked to preserve this architectural unity, ultimately without success. Already in 2010 the campus began to disintegrate with the redesign of 5 Broadgate. The headquarters of the Swiss bank UBS extends over an area of 65,000 square meters and 67.5 meters high and was completely covered in stainless steel by Make Architects. The other side of the pavilion borders 1-2 Broadgate, for which Allford Hall Monaghan Morris developed a new facade design.

Project image "3 Broadgate"; ventilated facade | © zetovia.com @ Torsten Zech
Project picture "3 Broadgate"; Metal facade; Aluminum  | © zetovia.com @ Torsten Zech

Project data

3 Broadgate
3 Broadgate, London EC2M 2QS
Orms Designers & Architects Ltd
POHL Duranize Bronze Vibration

New perspective

The original facade of 3 Broadgate was dominated by pink granite and tinted glass fronts. At ground level, the building is open and should encourage pedestrians to make their way through the building. The distance from the pavilion to the neighboring buildings of the campus is narrow and Broadgate is a popular connection for pedestrians to Liverpool Street and Moorgate. The analysis of pedestrian movement flows shows that on average about 30,000 people use this route every day of the week. However, only a small percentage of people choose to walk through the building. Most of them circulate around the pavilion. The top priority for the redesign of 3 Broadgate was therefore to dissolve the perception of the building as a barrier. Orms removed the suspended ceiling, increasing the height of the passage from three to four meters. In addition, the previously ramp-like passage was smoothed. A new curtain façade optically forms an archway over the entire height of the three floors, loosening up the narrow spaces between 5 and 1-2 Broadgate and providing an exciting new path for the Londoners. The new coffee shop inside the arch will be an additional incentive for the way through the building.
Project imagae "3 Broadgate"; aluminum curtain facade | © zetovia.com @ Torsten Zech

More human dimensions

In three sizes up to a maximum of 500 x 350 mm, each individual shingle underlines the independence and more human dimension of the pavilion in contrast to its neighboring buildings. For the surface of the total of 5,425 shingles, Orms opted for a particularly low-maintenance and durable solution. In contrast to a powder coating, anodizing transforms the top layer of the aluminum by anodic oxidation into a protective layer with a matt to silky shine and extreme durability. A further advantage is that, since the metal is surface-finished without additional paint application, it can be returned 100 percent to the raw material cycle. POHL sampled the project with a wide variety of anodized colors, and finally, Orms opted for a warm, dazzling bronze concrete (POHL Duranize® Bronze). In 2018, 740 m2 of shingles were produced at POHL Facade Division's Cologne site and shipped to London. In spring 2019, 3 Broadgate expects the first Londoners to make their daily way through the archway.
Project picture "3 Broadgate"; Curtain facade | © zetovia.com @ Torsten Zech
Gastropavaillion Wilma Wunder

Living rust patina as a stylistic element