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
Finsbury Avenue JLP01_09_841599
Finsbury Avenue, Broadgate, City of London. The newly completed office building at 1 Finsbury Avenue with a paved and landscaped concourse in front.
The Finsbury Avenue complex was a three phase speculative office development by Rosehaugh Greycoat Estates in anticipation of the deregulation of the financial markets in 1986. It aimed to entice potential tenants in the financial services industry to a fringe area on the edge of the City through high quality design and construction. Designed by Peter Foggo of Arup Associates, Laing secured the management contract for the construction of each phase in turn.
Work on phase one, 1 Finsbury Avenue began in December 1982 and was completed by September 1984 followed by phase two, 3 Finsbury Avenue, from October 1985 to December 1986 with work beginning on phase three, 2 Finsbury Avenue in January 1987 and complete by April 1988.
The design for each of the three buildings followed a "shell and core" approach incorporating flexibility in the internal construction and allowing simple reconfiguration of space according to tenants needs. Laing undertook several contracts to refit office space in each of the buildings in subsequent years.
1 Finsbury Avenue is constructed around a central atrium with an octagonal glazed lantern roof providing daylight to the office space on all floors and in contrast to expectations from the dark bronze anodised aluminium and tinted windows of the exterior. The roof terraces stepped design and the brises soleil with diagonal bracing breaks up the silhouette and facade of the building and mitigate the impact of its size. The building became almost a blueprint for future developments of this kind. It won a RIBA design award in 1987 and was listed grade II in 2015.
This photograph was used in the November 1984 edition of Team Spirit, the Laing company newsletter
© Historic England Archive