Greening the City

Stiff & Trevillion’s creation of an independent workspace at the River Building in the City of London includes a one-acre roof garden


The River Building is a two-storey structure bridging the landmark towers of Cannon Street Station, which was originally constructed as part of Cannon Bridge House. The vast, deep floor plates had been designed to house the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, but resulted in dark offices with little natural light and the bridge structure over a busy railway station created further restrictions.


Stiff & Trevillion were commissioned to reimagine these floors as new Grade A workspace, independent of Cannon Bridge House, with their own distinct identity. Embracing the unique character and constraints of the original structure the design has ensured that wellness, economic, legislative and technological priorities were met together with high standards for sustainability.


Reconfiguring services distribution within the space meant that the architects’ design team achieved bright, fresh and unusual office accommodation with improved floor to ceiling heights, levels of natural light and increased occupational densities. MEP systems were retained and upgraded rather than replaced where possible, reducing waste, cost and time whilst contributing to much improved comfort, energy efficiency and commercial return.

While adhering to the London View Management Framework, new south facade glazing and atrium roof lights were installed to improve energy performance, natural lighting levels, interior ambience and the building’s appearance.


Efficient planning of the cores, reconfiguration of the atria and a new approach to a comprehensive rationalisation of MEP services allowed expansion of the net office space to a total of 92,000sq ft across two expansive floor-plates with panoramic views of the River Thames. Office users also have access to a spectacular one acre roof garden, enjoying stunning 360 degree skyline views in the middle of the City.


High levels of natural light and fresh air supply, visual connections to landscaping, access to an abundance of external amenity space, use of volume and exposure of the industrial character and materials of the existing building, and the inclusion of showers and cycle spaces, all contribute to the health and wellbeing of the building’s occupiers.


The positive commercial attributes of the original building have been enhanced and the building has been given a new lease of life, preserving it for the next 25 years plus. Half of the building was let prior to Practical Completion with the other half let very soon afterwards to a non-traditional City tenant.

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