Rothschild has been located at New Court since N.M. Rothschild established residence there in 1809. New Court is situated on the architecturally rich site of St. Swithin's Lane, a narrow medieval alley in the heart of the City of London, and is adjacent to Christopher Wren’s historically significant St. Stephen Walbrook church. The new New Court is the fourth iteration of Rothschild’s London headquarters on the site, each increasingly isolating the church of St. Stephen Walbrook. What began as a dialogue between two open spaces in the city – a courtyard and a churchyard – has, through three centuries of transformation, been reduced to an accidental proximity. OMA’s design of New Court, lead by Partners-in-charge Ellen van Loon and Rem Koolhaas, reinstates a visual connection between St. Swithin's Lane and St. Stephen Walbrook. Instead of competing as accidental neighbours, the church and New Court now form a twinned urban ensemble, an affinity reinforced by the proportional similarity of their towers.
New Court is comprised of a simple extrusion transformed through a series of volumetric permutations into a hybrid of cube and annexes: a ‘cube’ of open office space and appendices of shared spaces and private work areas.
The central cube of the building consists of ten efficient and flexible open-plan office floors, which facilitate views over St. Stephen and the surrounding City. This cube is surrounded by four adjoining volumes – annexes – with support facilities to the Bank’s operations such as meeting rooms, vertical circulation, reception areas, and a staff cafe and gym. The fourth annexe, a Sky Pavilion, sits at the top of this central cube. The Sky Pavilion is an open space largely free of vertical elements. This affords a clear view of Wren’s most famous London Church, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the rest of the City, and provides an appropriately unique space for high level functions. At street level, the entire cube is lifted to create generous pedestrian access to the tall glass lobby and a covered forecourt that opens a visual passage to St. Stephen Walbrook and its churchyard – creating a surprising moment of transparency in the otherwise constrained opacity of the medieval streetscape. Reconnected, the two establish a continuity that radically transforms St. Swithin’s Lane and the setting of the Church.
OMA Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon
Project Managers: Carol Patterson, Adrianne Fisher, Adekunle Adeyemi
Elisa Simonetti, Haiko Cornelissen, Isabel da Silva, Keigo Kobayashi, Jarek Kubik, Anna Little, Jason Long, Matthew Murphy, Michel van de Kar
with: João Amaro, Clement Blanchet, Tiago Branco, Matt Brown, Mark Dahmen, Claire Destrebecq, Tomas Dirrix, Anita Ernodi, Nicolas Firket, Martin Gallovsky, Jonah Gamblin, Farshid Gazor, Achim Gergen, Gustavo Guimarães, Pascal Lestringant, Per Linde, Christoph Michael, Susana Mondejar, Katharina Nerhe, Gianna Ong-Alok, Daan Ooievaar, Gustavo Paternina, Marc Paulin, Manuel Pelicano Moreira, Dirk Peters, Anna Pribylova, Marta Rodríguez Fernández, Nina Sahebkar, Jad Semaan, Saskia Simon, Daliana Suryawinata, Christin Svensson, Anna Tjumina, Katrien van Dijk, Rodrigo Vilas Boas, Pero Vukovic, Leoni Wenz, Shuchen Xiang, Nurdan Yakup, Junjie Yan, Lucia Zamponi.
Allies and Morrison Architects
Team: Andrew Dean (Lead Architect), Billy Choi, Mark Foster, Robert Maxwell (Project Partner)
with: Joel Davenport, Juliet Harris, Sophie Lian Jie, Andrew McMullan, Christine Peters, James Petty, Mariana Rodrigues, Stefen Schoenefuss, Lenny Sequeira, Frances Taylor, Mark Taylor, Alex Wraight.
typical office floors: Pringle Brandon
Partner-in-charge: Jack Pringle
with: Charles Vine, Fiona Ballance, Linzi Cassels, Jane Clay, Marianna Dietrich, Mijail Gutierrez, David Halpenny, Inaki Isla
Development advisor: Stanhope
Cost consultant: Davis Langdon
Construction manager: Lend Lease
Planning consultant: DP9
Lighting: Arup, GIA Equation
Access: David Bonnett Associates
Landscape: Inside Outside with Aura Melis & Jana Crepon, Charles Funke Associates
Façade engineering: Front and Arup
Acoustics: DHV/ Arup
AV consultant: Mark Johnson Consultants
IT consultant: PTS
Catering consultant: Tricon Food Services
Sequrity consultant: QCIC Group
Commissioning Manager: Core Group
Storage consultant: WZN Consulting
Signage consultant: Irma Boom
Property consultant: Knight Frank Newmark
Reception curtain: Inside Outside: Petra Blaisse with Peter Niessen, Miki Satoh & Francesca Sartori
Townscape adviser: Peter Stewart Consultancy