SOM in the Press

Broadgate Exchange House | Notes of Interest

Photo © Richard Waite

Source: AIArchitect

The Broadgate Exchange House in London, celebrated for its simple yet ingenious structural system that unifies design and function in the mid-century Modernist tradition, was selected for the 2015 AIA Twenty-five Year Award. Designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) and completed in 1990, the Exchange House is a recognizable presence in central London. Its distinctive facades, defined by two parabolic arches against grids of windows, derive from SOM’s strategy to vault 10 stories of offices over the tracks that feed Liverpool Street Station. Far from droll, the grid and arch combine to improve extraordinary public spaces beyond. The arch on the Exchange House’s plaza size appears as an abstracted, amphitheater backdrop. The opposite arch, along narrow Primrose Street, soars upward and down again as you walk along, offering not just visual relief for office workers hustling to Old Spitalfields Market for a quick lunch. It encourages everyone to look up and see the building for what it is: a perfect marriage of form and function. 

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