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The Helicon JLP01_10_61486
The Helicon, South Place, Finsbury Pavement, Islington, Greater London. A view towards the ceiling from the ground floor of the glazed central atrium at the Helicon building, Finsbury Pavement, London.
The Helicon was named after the sacred mountain of the muses in Greek mythology and in reference to a bookshop called Temple of the Muses that previously occupied part of the site. Laing began work on the foundations in May 1994 and the project was complete by June 1996. The building is divided between office and retail space, the lower 3 floors are occupied by Marks and Spencer whilst the 6 above are office accommodation. Designed to maximise natural light and be energy efficient the triple glazed curtain walls are vented in summer to allow cooling through air circulation and closed in winter to provide insulation. An automated system of metal louvres within the curtain wall close and open in response to the sun to regulate temperatures inside the building. The post-tension technique of construction of the concrete frame allowed the size of the columns and depth of floor slabs to be reduced and maximise usable floor space. The building won a CONSTRUCT Award for Innovation and Best Practice in 2000. The photograph was taken on the day the completed building was handed over to the client
© Historic England Archive