22 Bishopsgate
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22 Bishopsgate

Living and Working in a Glass Giant

22 Bishopsgate
By Editorial Staff -

A 270-m-high glazed vertical city. A faceted sculpture with 23 different sides. Such appellations are not uncommon for 22 Bishopsgate, the soaring skyscraper that was inaugurated in 2020 to become the tallest building in the financial district of the City of London. It is giant of transparency and reflection that stands out among Landing Forty Two, 20 Fenchurch Street and 30 St Mary Axe, to name but a few. Designed by PLP Architecture, this 62-story building is a model for quality working environments, with numerous spaces open to the public and an underlying concept of well-being of both body and mind. Such an approach, premised on integrating the architectonic side with the human and environmental ones, was fundamental in how the entirely-glazed façade was created by AGC Glass Europe to blend esthetic quality with functional demands in a smart tower.

22 Bishopsgate © Hufton + Crow, courtesy AGC Flat Glass Italia

The term “vertical city” is no banal title as the interiors are filled with umpteen services that one uses in daily life, from offices to restaurants and bars, from a gym to wellness and health centers, to the Active Commuter Park (an advanced bicycle garage) at the base of the building. The design conception also draws heavily on the Arts and Crafts movement that has brought about a powerful reassessment of the refined craftsmanship of the late 19th century. In this case, the most evident example is an entrance hall comparable to an art gallery. Glass once again takes center stage, starting with Alexander Beleschenko’s multicolored canopies that become genuine, permanent works of mosaic art.

The practice that designed the skyscraper sought an unobtrusive but rigorous presence and so opted for a closed-cavity façade (CCF) made entirely of iridescent glass that changes appearance throughout the day and alternates among opaque, translucent and fully transparent shades. The glazing was provided by AGC Interpane, which supplied nearly 70,000 sq. m of high-performance glass meeting demanding technical and esthetic standards with Cradle to Cradle certification that ensures a positive environmental impact. The outer envelope is made of laminated glass panes with Ipasol Bright White solar-control magnetron coating, a solution that not only improves thermal efficiency in summer and winter, but also allows suitable light into the interior.
The other coating used is iplus Advanced 1.0 from the iplus range of low-emission coatings, which provides excellent thermal insulation, bringing energy savings and boosting living comfort. Light transmission is high for iplus, ensuring plenty of light can flow into the building, and it comes in a neutral shade. Its defining feature though, is its low-emissivity, meaning its ability to prevent heat loss while maintaining good thermal insulation and achieving energy savings.

Such characteristics, along with the 35% reduction in CO2 emissions, were central to earning the BREEAM Excellent rating.

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