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.

5 Broadgate, London, UK

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.

    Project images: © John Madden

34,000sqm façade cladding  2,200sqm roof cladding

  • Vertical openings in the metal façade at the end of the building and diagonal, zigzag staircase windows create a technoid ornamentation by seele at the project 5 Broadgate in London, UK.

    Long, vertical openings in the metal façade at the end of the building and diagonal, zigzag staircase windows create bold, technotronic embellishments.

  • Horizontal window strips and deep returns by seele in the façade lend structure to the strict façade geometry of the steel glass construction at project 5 Broadgate in London, UK.

    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.

  • The development at 5 Broadgate in London looks like an amazing high-tech engine block with clear differentiation between the various functions and parts of the building by façade constructor seele.

    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.

  • The appearance of the steel surface by façade constructor seele at 5 Broadgate in London changes depending on how the light strikes it and the time of day.

    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.

  • Form follows function: The different openings in the façade by façade constructor seele reveal the architecture beyond at the project 5 Broadgate in London, UK .

    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.

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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.

  • Façade constructor seele set up a full-size mock-up of the stainless steel façade at the test center in Gersthofen for testing the materials of 5 Broadgate in London.

    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 by seele interrupt the strict geometry of the façade construction at 5 Broadgate London, UK.

    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.

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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 seele supply

approx. 34,000sqm external wall cladding systems

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