The previously sterile atrium has been transformed into the dynamic heart of the building. The latest refurbishment of this complex series of spaces provides a fully glazed entrance on Waterhouse Square, which visually connects the stunning landscaped public courtyard to the heart of the building.
The renovated lobby acts as a transitional reception room between the historical square and the contemporary spaces found inside. Visitors are mysteriously drawn through the space by a unique lighting scheme featuring original faience columns that link through to the striking theatrical atrium with the reception desk at its base.
The dynamic nature of the atrium begins at the reception desk, where the marble staircase picks up the upwardly moving spiral with a luminous wash of blue, set against low ambient light. Above the reception desk two bespoke aluminium ‘spun halos’ are suspended. The atrium glazing is fritted to form a subtle counter spiral giving the building a central focus.
This phase of refurbishment provided the perfect opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of the building for future use. We made use of the existing structure as much as possible in recognition of the value of embodied energy and minimised waste at every opportunity. Existing high-quality materials such as internal marble floors and cladding were also integrated into the new aesthetics with minimal change.
During construction, an envoy for the Clinton Climate Initiative toured the site to learn more of an exemplar refurbishment scheme in the UK. 2 Waterhouse Square achieved a BREEAM Very Good rating.