Monday, 8 July 2013

Modern London : 20 Gracechurch Street

Situated on the northern corner of Lombard Street and Gracechurch Street, this building was previously known as 54 Lombard Street, and was the long-time head-quarters site of Barclays Bank Plc.  Barclays can trace their occupation of this site back to 1728, when founding partners moved to a building with the sign of a "Black Spread Eagle", which later was adopted as Barclay's official emblem in 1937.

The current building was designed by GMW, and completed in 1994 and had replaced a relatively young office complex completed in 1969 after being in use for just over 20 years.  However this time, after just over 10 years, the site was finally vacated by Barclays, when in 2005 they relocated to London's new banking hub in Canary Wharf.

The building then underwent extensive refurbishment, both inside and out, to the designs of architects ORMS, and has been transformed by the re-cladding of the street-level facade to the third storey in Portland stone.  This work was completed in 2009 and the building was renamed at that time to 20 Gracechurch Street, to lessen the association with the site's previous occupants and to make the new office space more appealing to the insurance market as prospective tenants.

20 Gracechurch Street
20 Gracechurch Street

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