It’s second time lucky for Crossrail, as their proposals for a new office building in Farringdon have finally been approved.
Islington Council has given the green light to revised proposals for the site on Farringdon Road and Cowcross Street. The new building will stand seven storeys high and bring 200,000 sq ft of high quality office space to the area. Its uppermost storey will be topped with a roof terrace and a two-storey glass pavilion, set back from the main frontage of the building. The new development replaces the Cardinal Tower office building which formerly stood on the site.
This was Crossrail’s second attempt to get planning permission for this key Farringdon site. Their original plans were turned down last December; the revised proposal reveals a building which is less imposing, lessening its impact on the surrounding area of listed buildings and residential properties.
In particular, the sixth floor of the building has now been adapted to allow more light into nearby buildings, a change which has resulted in a slight reduction in the overall office space available – but which has enabled the building to go ahead.
Additional changes were made to the design by changing the proposed red-brick coloured façade on Farringdon Road for an off-white terracotta shade. This is to reduce the potentially “overbearing” impact which might have been caused by the darker brickwork.
The development falls within the City Fringe Opportunity Area and the Farringdon-Smithfield Intensification Area. The City Fringe, which also includes areas such as Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Clerkenwell, has seen increasing interest from businesses in recent years. Providing easy access to the City, but in less conventionally corporate surroundings, its converted industrial buildings and colourful interiors have proved popular with startups and SMEs, particularly those in the TMT sector.
Traditionally popular with the publishing industry, Farringdon is attracting a growing number of digital publishers among its new occupants. Most recently, global image publisher Shutterstock announced that it had chosen Farringdon as the location for its London office launch. The forthcoming Farringdon Crossrail – due for completion in 2018 – will no doubt continue to boost the popularity of the area, by making it better connected than ever.
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Image by Tom Page via Flickr.