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towers contain workspace for various

companies, connected by new, simple internal

stairs and openings.

The middle tower is dedicated to shared

spaces, break-out and cafés, configured

to support informal working and chance

encounters. These spaces act as a buffer zone

between individual companies in the east

and west towers, allowing them to expand

temporarily without additional fit-out or

capital costs.

Within this central space, a cascading

terrace of new slab openings, stairs and

suspended concrete platforms creates

long diagonal vistas through the building,

reorganising the structure into a collection of

neighbourhoods connected by common areas

– a direct reference to the city itself. This

arrangement of steps and platforms creates

a number of ‘accidental’sitting and working

spaces with floors and ceilings doubling as

seating and workbenches.

Other work floors are connected by a single

dramatic helical stair, cast in-situ with rough

sawn timber formwork to unashamedly

replicate the shuttering seen on the exterior

of the National Gallery.

Sky terrace

By locating working space in the lower

parts of the building, the upper two floors

are liberated for shared staff and hospitality

uses, including a 200-person timber-lined

amphitheatre, retrofitted into the fabric of

the existing structure by reinforcing and

retaining the glazed façade and removing

approximately 200m


of rib-deck slab. A

café, bistro, private dining room and new

roof terrace are also located here, giving

optimum views over London to the north,

east and west – and democratic access to all

building users.

These spaces double as work settings –

from small and intimate to large and noisy

– and together define a shared architectural

identity for the group companies.

Urban scale

Many buildings along the Thames Path

have become important London landmarks.

The Royal Festival Hall,National Theatre,

Tate Modern,Oxo Tower and Shakespeare’s

Globe are all established cultural points.

At an urban scale, the ambition of the Sea

Containers fit-out was to make shared and

common activities visible from the river,

drawing it back into the cultural, creative and

commercial life of the Thames.

‘Accidental’sitting and working spaces

with floors and ceilings doubling as seating

and workbenches.

(Photo:Gareth Gardner.)

Upper-floor timber-lined

amphitheatre space.

(Photo:Gareth Gardner.)

Middle tower break-out space.

(Photo:Maris Mezulis.)