The Bower
Old Street | Mixed Use

The Bower

The Bower is an excellent example of a successful large scale refurbishment and remodelling scheme and is located immediately adjacent to Old Street Roundabout. 

Designed with the existing local tech community in mind, this scheme celebrates the original buildings’ heritage as well as generating significant carbon savings in the innovative design approach. Offering a range of spaces over multiple buildings, all knitted together with exemplary public facing elements at ground floor, The Bower represented a dramatic step change for the Old Street district, without ever straying from the area’s spirit and character. Completed in Q3 2018.

3.12

acres

100%

Timber sustainably sourced

12,493

Tonnes of carbon saved in construction

Excellent

BREEAM

Key information

  • Location
    Old Street
  • Type
    Mixed Use
  • Architects
    AHMM
  • Agents
    JLL and Compton
  • Space available
    19,500 sq ft from Q2 2024
  • EPC Rating
    B
  • Contact
    John Inwood and Lucy Miller

Awards

  • Sustainability innovation
    Green Apple Award 2022
  • Shortlisted
    Property Week Climate Crisis Initiative Awards 2022
  • Shortlisted
    RICS Social Impact Awards 2020
  • Winner
    World Architecture Festival - Best Old and New Building 2019
  • Winner
    OAS Award - Best Refurbishment or Regeneration (City) 2019
  • Winner
    The Building Awards - Office Refurbishment of the Year 2019
  • Shortlisted
    New London Award - Conservation & Retrofit Award 2019
  • Shortlisted
    RIBA London Award 2019
  • Shortlisted
    RICS Award - Best Commercial Scheme 2019
  • Shortlisted
    Property Week Awards - Placemaking Award 2019
  • Shortlisted
    BCO Award - Best London Refurbished/Recycled Workspace 2019
  • Shortlisted
    Building Awards - Office Refurbishment Project Of The Year 2019

Carbon Performance

At Helical we are passionate about both sustainability and heritage and as such, if there is the ability within a new scheme to retain some or all of an existing building, we explore this in detail. At The Bower, we were fortunate enough to have two dilapidated but well constructed buildings, the structure and foundations of which we could use in their entirety in the construction of the new scheme. Working with architects AHMM, we developed a sustainable and efficient scheme which maximised the existing buildings, eliminating unnecessary waste and adding new elements to bring them back to life.

In total we saved 12,493 tonnes of carbon in adopting a refurbishment and remodelling strategy rather than demolishing and rebuilding. In addition, some of the building’s architectural features, such as striking brutalist concrete panels and bare faced internal concrete columns were able to be retained and included within the new scheme, giving the building a historical integrity and working well in The Bower's Old Street location. During construction 100% of timber was sustainably sourced and 2000 tonnes of construction waste was diverted from landfill.

Health and Wellbeing

Working with our excellent building management team Ashdown Phillips, at The Bower we have introduced “The Pledge”, demonstrating our commitments and aspirations towards sustainability, wellbeing, community and making a positive social contribution. The values set out in The Pledge are to:

  • Reduce our environmental impact
  • Engage with charities and local communities
  • Improve health and wellbeing
  • Share our achievements with our teams and stakeholders

The initiatives undertaken as part of The Pledge encompass both long and short term endeavours and are regularly communicated to the building’s internal and external community. Some recent initiatives include the creation of a Green Group who meet regularly to review and discuss new sustainability and environmental strategies, the introduction of bio enzyme cleaning which is 90% less carbon impactful than traditional cleaning methods and the training of key members of the management team as Mental Health First Aiders. Additionally, the site operates a zero landfill strategy with all waste being recycled. We are delighted that this initiative resulted in the building being given a Green Apple Award for sustainability innovation in April 2022.

Placemaking and Social Impact

A priority for us in designing the Bower was to open up the scheme, creating thoroughfares and permeability to enliven this previously landlocked site. We created three primary entrances to the site to draw people in from all possible adjacent areas and to encourage through traffic and dwell time for both building occupiers and the wider community.

We positioned the primary entrance to the buildings within the heart of the site, building a sizeable “piazza” area and creating a cut through at ground and first floor levels in the front building. Generous steps with integral seating lead down to the “Mews” which extends through to Baldwin Street at the rear, connecting the site with the occupiers in this location and with the Moorfields Eye Hospital located immediately to the north of The Bower.

Both the upper Piazza and the Mews are flanked by new retail/restaurant units of a variety of sizes to accommodate a wide range of occupiers. The tenant mix was carefully curated to appeal to both the occupiers of The Bower and the wider local community and The Bower marks one of Helical’s most successful and enduring destination creation projects.

The Tower provides a striking new landmark

Complete in June 2018, The Tower provides 171,000 sq ft of Grade A office space in an excellent location next to Old Street roundabout. The building has been designed to break down the traditional distinctions between the creative and corporate sectors in order to provide a thoroughly modern workplace.

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