Unilever London Headquarters (100 VE), occupies a prominent site in the City of London, overlooking Blackfriars Bridge and the River Thames. Completed in 1931 as Unilever’s headquarters and Grade II listed in 1977, the scope of KPF’s work included re-developing the 1930’s structure and a portion of a 1970’s extension to the north.
Unilever wanted to be able to remain in the building and within the City of London but had operational requirements for a more modern flexible workplace than that provided by the building, which also had significant functional deficiencies.
Following an extensive consultation process with Unilever, the City of London and English Heritage, KPF developed proposals which achieved a balance between retaining the important parts of the building’s historic fabric and providing a transformed work place and spatial experience for the many visitors to the building. The floor plates are reconfigured within a spatially interesting atrium, creating a stronger sense of interconnection. Staff and meeting facilities are located at the top of the building, above which is a roof garden. On the ground floor, a café, exhibition space, restaurant and conference area restore the public nature of the building. The fit-out achieves the spirit of openness seen in the 1930’s building archive.
The transformed Unilever House offers Unilever a new lease of life within their historic home, safeguards the active future of a listed building and brings the building up to British Council for Offices (BCO) specification throughout.
The project achieved a BREEAM “excellent” rating and carbon emissions were reduced by 25 percent (far greater than regulations currently require).
The redevelopment offers a number of key benefits including: safeguarding the future of a listed building and providing public access to key features; the preservation and enhancement of the historic environment; provision of office accommodation to meet the requirements of modern office occupier requirements; improvements to highway safety; improved access for disabled people to and throughout the building and a commitment to sustainability and biodiversity.
Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (International) PA
Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon & Everest
Surveyor: Plowman Craven & Associates
Planning Consultants: Moseley & Webb
Project Communication: Northpage Ltd
Interior Design/ Space Planning:DEGW
Historical Building Advisor: Alan Baxter & Associates
Space Planning : KPF, Pringle Brandon Consulting, DEGW
• 2009 RIBA Award
• 2008 British Council for Offices (BCO) Award/London Regional Winner
• 2008 International Architecture The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture & Design
• 2008 MIPIM Award/Refurbished Office Building Category
• 2008 AIA New York Chapter Building Type Award/Sustainable Design Award Winner
• 2008 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture
• 2008 ULI Award for Excellence: Europe
• 2008 City Hertiage Award Outstanding Excellence in the Renewal of Buildings and Conservation
• 2008 The Structural Steel Design Awards/Design Excellence Award Corus + The British Constructional Steelwork Assoc., Ltd.
• 2006 Wrap Award for Sustainable Construction/Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
• 2005 Green Apple Award/The Green Organisation Refurbished/Recycled Workplace
• Certified BREEAM Excellent