New Court, Rothschild Bank headquarters
by OMA with Allies and Morrison

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The OMA-designed headquarters for the Rothschild Bank in London is one of the six buildings shortlisted for the 2012 Stirling Prize (+ slideshow).

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

Completed at the end of 2011, the steel and glass building features ten floors of open-plan offices, a rooftop garden and a glazed "sky pavilion" containing a stack of three double-height events rooms.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

Above: photograph is by Charlie Koolhaas

This glazed cube is raised up above the roof and it towers above surrounding buildings that include the James Stirling-designed Number One Poultry and the St. Stephen Walbrook church by Christopher Wren.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

Above: photograph is by Charlie Koolhaas

At ground level the facade is recessed, increasing the width of the pavement along St Swithin’s Lane, and is split into two halves that frame a view through to the church and graveyard behind.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

Three smaller annex blocks adjoin the main building, providing meeting rooms, staircases and lifts, plus a staff cafe and gym.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

This is the fourth headquarters building that the Rothschild family have occupied on the site since 1809 and it was delivered in collaboration with UK architects Allies and Morrison.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

OMA have also been nominated for the Stirling Prize with their Maggie’s Centre, Gartnavel in Glasgow. See all the nominations here »

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

See more projects by OMA, including a series of interviews we filmed with Rem Koolhaas »

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

Photography is by Philippe Ruault, apart from where otherwise stated.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

Above: photograph is by Charlie Koolhaas

Here's some more text from OMA:


Rothschild Headquarters, New Court, London, UK

Rothschild has been located at New Court since N.M. Rothschild established residence there in 1809. New Court is situated on the architecturally rich site of St. Swithin's Lane, a narrow medieval alley in the heart of the City of London, and is adjacent to Christopher Wren’s historically significant St. Stephen Walbrook church.

The new New Court is the fourth iteration of Rothschild’s London headquarters on the site, each increasingly isolating the church of St. Stephen Walbrook. What began as a dialogue between two open spaces in the city – a courtyard and a churchyard – has, through three centuries of transformation, been reduced to an accidental proximity.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

OMA’s design of New Court, lead by Partners-in-charge Ellen van Loon and Rem Koolhaas, reinstates a visual connection between St. Swithin's Lane and St. Stephen Walbrook. Instead of competing as accidental neighbours, the church and New Court now form a twinned urban ensemble, an affinity reinforced by the proportional similarity of their towers.

New Court is comprised of a simple extrusion transformed through a series of volumetric permutations into a hybrid of cube and annexes: a ‘cube’ of open office space and appendices of shared spaces and private work areas.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

The central cube of the building consists of ten efficient and flexible open-plan office floors, which facilitate views over St. Stephen and the surrounding City. This cube is surrounded by four adjoining volumes – annexes – with support facilities to the Bank’s operations such as meeting rooms, vertical circulation, reception areas, and a staff cafe and gym. The fourth annexe, a Sky Pavilion, sits at the top of this central cube. The Sky Pavilion is an open space largely free of vertical elements. This affords a clear view of Wren’s most famous London Church, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the rest of the City, and provides an appropriately unique space for high level functions.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

Above: photograph is by Charlie Koolhaas

At street level, the entire cube is lifted to create generous pedestrian access to the tall glass lobby and a covered forecourt that opens a visual passage to St. Stephen Walbrook and its churchyard – creating a surprising moment of transparency in the otherwise constrained opacity of the medieval streetscape. Reconnected, the two establish a continuity that radically transforms St. Swithin’s Lane and the setting of the Church.

Rothschild Bank by OMA with Allies and Morrison

Project: Rothschild’s London Headquarters
Status: Competition 2005, Completed November 2011
Client: Rothschild
Location: St Swithin’s Lane, City of London
Budget: N/A
Site: New Court, enclosed in cluster of buildings, adjacent to the 17th century St. Stephen Walbrook church; with main entrance on the narrow St. Swithin’s Lane
Program: Office headquarters: 21,000m2 (GFA)

  • frog

    So, you want a stone building?