London Society members were fortunate to be given a ‘hard hat’ tour of the redevelopment work at the Broadgate complex in the City. Roger Cline reports on the visit.
It was an early start for an intrepid band of Society members who assembled at 3 Broadgate Square, the marketing suite for the Broadgate re-development. The original buildings were erected in 1981-1999 on the site of Broad Street Station and in the air space over part of Liverpool Street station and were all office block fortresses with security permit entry only. Business practice has changed in the meantime and the blocks are being refurbished to replace the large trading floors by flexible office space close to windows with an emphasis on wellbeing of employees and ‘smart’ operation whereby their mobile telephones will pick up instructions as they enter as to which desk they will use for the day and providing temperature and illumination suitable for the work they will be doing. The wellbeing of employees and public alike will be catered for with extensive retail premises on ground and sometimes several other floors, as well as leisure centres and catering. The security gates will only be located inwards of the office reception area, so the public can enjoy facilities such as meeting areas, coffee shops and wi-fi outside the gates. The whole area is private land with high but unobtrusive security (60-80 security personnel on duty at any time, day and night) so any misuse of the facilities can be dealt with (and may cause them to be restricted). The area is kept clean with the ground floor paving being regularly washed.