Principal Tower

Principal Tower

Architect
Foster + Partners
Location
London, UK | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Offices
Stories By
Foster + Partners

Hurley Palmer Flatt

Clark Door Limited
Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Principal Tower

Foster + Partners as Architects

The completion of Principal Tower is the final piece of the Principal Place masterplan, a comprehensively planned mixed-use scheme on the border of Shoreditch and the City of London that creates a thriving new neighbourhood, drawing on the rich industrial heritage of the area. It comprises a 15-storey office building that hosts the London headquarters for Amazon, alongside one of London’s tallest residential buildings, the 50-storey Principal Tower, with six eateries that wrap around the building at street level and a light bar, creating a 360-degree active frontage that extends the vibrancy of the City towards the north.


Grant Brooker, Director at Foster + Partners, commented: “The phenomenal rise of Shoreditch as the new, vibrant part of London marries perfectly with the development of Principal Place and the completion of Principal Tower. We’re delighted that the final project so closely mirrors our original vision, where the tower was designed to create a liveable and distinctive addition to London’s beautiful skyline.”


The relationship between the creative, formerly industrial east end and London’s financial centre is expressed in the tower’s massing, which appears as three slim volumes. Where the tower addresses the residential neighbourhood of Shoreditch, it appears lower from ground level, while from the west it reflects the high-rise nature of the City. A central volume rises up between the two to provide an elegant marker on the skyline.


The 50-storey building offers a variety of apartment sizes, topped by spectacular penthouses on the top. Designed from the inside-out, there are eight apartments on a typical floor: four two-bedroom apartments that occupy the main corners of the plan, and four one-bedroom apartments. The square floorplate has been extended in the centre of two sides to create a cruciform plan and most importantly eight corners, each one of which forms a curved balcony.

 

By maximising the perimeter in this way, all the units on the typical floors are dual aspect, with a very efficient plan that places the entrance at the heart of the apartment to eliminate unnecessary corridors. The bedrooms are enclosed by solid cladding panels for privacy, while the remainder of the apartment is fully glazed and protected by shading fins. Every apartment has a curved balcony at the corners that provides a double aspect with bronze exterior detailing – externally, this softens the tower’s profile, adding a rich texture, and creates a residential scale that contrasts with typical City buildings that surround it.


Providing 85,000 square-metres of flexible premium office space, the office building houses the UK headquarters of Amazon. The primary entrance to the building opens out onto a new plaza, creating an active interface with the surrounding urban environment, and generating a place that establishes connections within the community.

 

Internally, the building is designed as a 21st century warehouse that responds to the changing nature of the workplace, offering a more interactive and flexible model. Spanningover 100 metres, the innovative office floors allow for an exciting mix of spaces that operate at different scales, from large open-plan areas to small pockets of space that enhance collaboration and creativity.


Three ‘wing cores’ on the north and south façades provide points of natural contraction that impart a spatial rhythm to the interior volume, which is clearly articulated on the building’s façade. Its segmented form responds to Shoreditch’s industrial built heritage, bringing a sense of continuity to the streetscape as you move from the City to the north. The refined materiality of metal and glass offers a unique texture to the building, with an expressed bronze structural frame that references the historic cast iron structures found in the area.


“Concord London, Brookfield and Multiplex were the perfect partners for this project, each bringing a wealth of residential experience and a real attention to detail. We hope that the Principal Place project will continue the spirit of this regeneration and be a positive contribution to the area that surrounds it,” added Brooker.

Principal Tower

Hurley Palmer Flatt as Consultants

HDR |Hurley Palmer Flatt provided building engineering design services and specialist IT, AV, security, fire engineering and acoustic services for the now completed Principal Tower, which is designed by Foster + Partners in City fringe. The tower is formed of three slim volumes: with a lower face towards the more residential side of Shoreditch, a taller element facing west reflecting the higher-rise nature of the City, and a central volume rising up between. The 50-storey tower houses 299 high specification apartments and resident amenities including spa, pool, gym and cinema screening room.

 

The development also provides affordable housing units together with the shell and core renovation of the Victorian ‘Light Bar’ located on Shoreditch High Street. The apartments within the tower are equipped with smart KNX home automation facilities to enable adjustment of lighting, environmental systems, blinds and AV from touch screen panels.

 

Principal Tower is the final part of the Principal Place scheme, which comprises a 15- storey commercial building, which is currently occupied by Amazon’s London headquarters, with six resturants occupying the base of the scheme. Alongside the office space is the Principal Tower, one of the tallest residential buildings in London. The development creates a thriving new neighbourhood in the up-and-coming area.

 

The Engineering design includes an on-site energy centre with facility to connect to local heat networks. All apartments have achieved CSH (Code for Sustainable Homes) level 4 certification aided by the high performing façade, greywater recycling facilities and energy efficient systems.

Principal Tower Pivot Door by Clark Door Limited

Clark Door Limited as Fire Rated Pivot Door

Clark Door worked with contractor SJ Eastern Carpentry and Joinery to find a specialist door solution for Principal Tower. Clark Door designed, manufactured and installed a Double Leaf Pivot Door with a Fire Rating of 60 minutes. The door was finished in Polyester Powder Coating, with decorative cladding later added by others, as shown in the image gallery. 

Project Credits
Fire Rated Pivot Door
Contractors
Products used in this project
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
Fire Rated Pivot DoorClark Door Limited
Product Spec Sheet
Fire Rated Pivot Door
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