READING TIME: 2 MINUTES
It’s not very often that you get a chance to go up a skyscraper for work purposes unless, of course, you work in one. Last month, I got a chance to visit a client at the Broadgate Tower and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The tower is one of those structures that I always passed by but never paid too much attention to.
Completed in 2009, the 165m structure stands next to 201 Bishopsgate – its shorter counterpart – in the historic Broadgate Estate. It was developed by British Land and designed by renowned architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM). Further research highlighted it to mark the next major phase of construction within the Broadgate Estate at the time, as well as one of the first skyscrapers to be built outside the Canary Wharf Estate.
Shops, cafés and restaurants, adorned with bamboo trees, trail the covered passageway between the two structures, thereby creating a sense of calm and belonging.
Going through the revolving doors (pictured above) takes you to an open plan foyer complete with floor-to-ceiling glass. Two impressive colour-coded escalators then guide you to double-deck elevators that can reach speeds of up to 6m/s.
The enormous foyer allows you to take in the scale of the structure and the sheer amount of detail that’s gone into its planning to provide an effortless experience for staff and visitors. Touchpad-style lift buttons are increasingly replacing older versions. The tower’s lifts are separated by alphabets that cater to a designated floor count; pressing a touchscreen speedily transported us up to the upper floors that made a skyscraper fanatic’s day worthwhile. This was the view from the 22nd floor on a glorious Friday morning.
Leaving the premises to head back to work meant a final picture of the two structures connected via steel beams.
The external steel bracing covering both facades of each tower gives them a distinct modern quality which was a welcome departure from the more anodyne buildings within the estate at the time it was built. It was one of those experiences which only people who absolutely love the engineering and planning behind such structures can appreciate.