FORE Partnership has received the go-ahead from Southwark Council to transform an out of date 1990s office building next to Tower Bridge on the bank of the Thames into a 110,000 sq ft forward-thinking work environment that will be one of the UK’s most sustainable offices.
Reflecting FORE’s mission to lead the way to a zero-carbon future, Tower Bridge Court (TBC) will be 100% electric and zero carbon in operation, with no fossil fuels used in running the property. Solar panels on the roof complement this strategy, enabling electrical power to be generated and used on site. FORE is targeting BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and EPC A for the building, designed by Stiff + Trevillion, which will make it one of the UK’s greenest offices.
TBC is targeting WELL Building Standard certification, an international rating system grounded in medical research that is focused on ensuring buildings are designed to improve human health and wellbeing. The building is targeting a Platinum certification, which would put it among around 20 buildings around the world to achieve WELL’s highest rating. It will be one of only a handful to hit both BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum.
FORE acquired the 68,090 sq ft building for £51 million in July 2018 and is partnering with development manager Landid on the project. The existing five-storey building will be stripped back and renewed through a deep refurbishment, preserving the embodied carbon in the frame. Two floors will be added, with a third additional floor set back from Tower Bridge to create a terrace and club room. All tenants of the building will have direct access to outdoor space through terraces, balconies, and gardens.
The ground floor entrance of the new building will be opened up to the street, creating an active frontage and opportunities for engagement with the public. A key part of the strategy for the building is to create space where local social enterprises and community groups can come together with tenants to build stronger relationships within the local area and drive positive change.
The ground floor will incorporate a flexible, multi-use space that will be available for events, workshops, exhibitions, and town hall-style meetings. FORE has committed to making this space available for community uses free of charge for one third of the year (30 hours per week).
The building is designed to sit sympathetically within its heritage context, with a scale and materiality sensitive to the local heritage area, while providing industry-leading innovation required to deliver a low carbon workspace that promotes the health and well-being of its occupiers.
Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner, FORE Partnership, said: “FORE is committed to creating developments that drive positive social and environmental benefits and better reflect the way people live, work, and interact with one another. With TBC we will deliver an exemplar transformation of an outdated office building, creating one of the most advanced office buildings in the UK market that will sets new benchmarks in sustainability, health and wellbeing and positive social impact.
Chris Hiatt, Director, Landid, said: “TBC is in a remarkable location right next to the iconic Tower Bridge and in an important heritage area. The building will provide a future-proofed workspace, with excellent amenities available to occupiers as well as the local community. With fantastic connectivity, TBC will be a building for businesses that want to create an inspiring working environment and foster productivity and wellbeing.”
Lance Routh, Director at Stiff + Trevillion, said: “The building has been designed to take full advantage of its incredible location, while being sympathetic to the immediate context in its scale and materiality. Public uses at the lower levels open the building up to the surrounding streets, and a spacious roof terrace will provide spectacular views over the Thames to the central London skyline. The retention of the existing concrete frame keeps the embodied carbon in the structure, and the deep retrofit will create a building that is future-proofed for the next generation, with industry-leading standards in sustainability, social impact, digital connectivity, and wellness.”
TBC lies in an exceptional position on the south bank of the River Thames, part of the dramatic evolution of London’s South Bank, Bankside, and London Bridge area. Close to London Bridge, Tower Hill tube, Fenchurch Street and Bermondsey stations as well as St Katharine’s Pier, with fast river boat connections to Canary Wharf and Westminster, TBC has great connectivity within and beyond London.
CBRE is the office letting agent for TBC. Bruce Gillingham Pollard is the retail agent.