5 Broadgate, London, UK: A composition of 16 façade solutions incl. steel glass construction with a total area of 34.000sqm, created by seele, envelopes the bank headquarters.


façade cladding 


roof cladding

5 broadgate – like the shiny steel of an engine block: new headquarters for a major bank in london

The new headquarters for a major Swiss bank, which serves as the hub for the bank’s stock market activities and provides jobs for about 6,000 employees, was built in the heart of London. The aim of the design by London-based Make Architects was to allow the form of the 14-storey building to reflect the pulsating operations within. That is why the building resembles a giant engine block. Smaller blocks have been “cut out” from this compact, metal-clad structure to create returns, lightwells and atria. Ribbon windows trace the internal movements: horizontal for offices, diagonal for stairs, vertical for lift shafts.

  • The comprehensive expertise of seele was in demand here for the 16 different types of façades. Aluminium façade elements with a high level of thermal insulation were used for most areas, with different forms and dimensions to suit each location. For example, the four trading floors, and hence the associated façade elements as well, are each 1m higher than the other upper floors. The ground floor has a tall post-and-beam construction glass façade; the atrium façades are also made of glass. A cold façade conceals the plant on the roof.

    One further challenge was the demanding logistics during construction. Storage space is rare in the centre of London and so most of the façade elements were delivered to site virtually fully prefabricated, according to a just-in-time schedule, then transported directly into the building and erected from inside. Thanks to its global experience, seele is able to make use of the very latest on-site facilities. Erection work could therefore proceed quickly and safely, while causing only minimum disruption to London’s traffic.

    Reference overview and Header image: © John Madden

Long, vertical openings in the metal façade at the end of the building and diagonal, zigzag staircase windows create bold, technotronic embellishments. © John Madden
Long horizontal window strips and deep returns in the façade lend structure to the strict façade geometry. They place 5 Broadgate in relation to its surroundings and permit insights into the busy interior workings. © John Madden
The development at 5 Broadgate looks like an amazing high-tech engine block. The façade design clearly differentiates between the various functions and parts of the building. © John Madden
The appearance of the steel surface changes depending on how the light strikes it and the time of day. Sometimes it takes on a cool, technical sheen and sometimes it reflects the warm colours of the sunlight, literally merging with the colours of the sky. © John Madden
Form follows function: the different openings in the façade reveal the architecture beyond and expose the lines of floor levels and the positions of lift shafts and stairs. © John Madden

seele sets new standards with its flawless stainless steel building envelope

”Exceptional formats but at the same time perfectly flat surfaces.” That is the specification for the stainless steel panels for the 5 Broadgate project, some of which are as large as 6m x 1.5m. This is a real challenge, as seele discovered by way of diverse tests and mock-ups. As so often in the past, seele – with its depth and manufacture and skills – was responsible for the entire façade supply chain. A method developed specially for the project ensured that the steel surfaces are completely flat. In order to guarantee this perfection right up to final construction of the façade, seele has also set up a special logistics and transport process. The result is compelling: the flawless appearance of the approx. 8,000 elements ensures that 5 Broadgate looks like a precision-engineered component made from one piece.

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seele set up a full-size mock-up of the stainless steel façade for testing and checking the materials. It was thus possible to guarantee panels with pristine surfaces despite their different positions on the façade and the changing lighting conditions.
Highly precise, diagonal panes of glass interrupt the strict geometry of the façade and allow daylight to reach the stairs and circulation zones. The criss-crossing horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines result in complex, individual elements. © John Madden


Client British Land Property Management Limited on behalf of Bluebutton Properties UK Limited
Architect Make Architects
Engineer Buro Happold
Date of completion 2015
Scope of work by seele

approx. 34,000sqm external wall cladding systems

  • Structural Awards 2016 – Sustainability
  • LABC 2016 – Best Large Commercial Building