Woolgate Exchange

This project was awarded Commended in the New Build Cladding category at the Natural Stone Awards 2002.

The official guide said, 'Portland limestone, which is the predominant cladding material on this building, was the obvious choice of material for the City of London and emphasises continuity with neighbouring buildings.

Portland Whitbed stone was chosen for the flat ashlar, while Perryfield was used to highlight the strong vertical elements of columns, double height window surrounds and comices.

The bottom of the building is protected with Kajaani Grey granite from SKT of Finland. It is polished to contrast with the less reflective Portland stone.

While not in a Conservation area, this site is part of the historic centre of the City of London defined by buildings that follow the old 1000ft hight limit on plat sizes relevant to pre-1940 buildings.

Sidell Gibson responded to this setting with a massing that is a co-ordinated assembly of forms rather than one, large building. The new square on Basinghall Street is defined by three forms: a central block of nine floors that is symmetrical and opposite the Corporation offices; a projecting six-storey side wing with a rotunda to form a focal point to the view up Basinghall Street; a smaller projecting wing on four floors, two of which are arcaded to relate in scale to the Guildhall Library opposite.'

The judges commented, 'A large building that, due to its design, is not overpowering and suits the context. This scheme shows a good understanding of the versatility of stone and this is complemented by good craftsmanship. It is difficult to appreciate that it is a clad building.'

Woolgate Exchange using Portland Stone built by Albion Stone