30 Finsbury Square
Whilst the interior is conventional, the exterior of this speculative city office building is rather sophisticated. Weather protection is afforded by the floor-to-ceiling curtain walling, set back from the outer stone skin. From the apparently random positioning of the columns, it would be easy to assume that this skin was nothing more than a series of simple cladding elements - but in fact it is load-bearing! The loads from all of the internal floor beams are transferred (via insulated connections) to the external horizontal precast concrete perimeter beams, which are expressed on the fašade. Forces are then transmitted laterally by these beams, across the fašade, to the piers. Sitting on the horizontal perimeter beams, each pier is formed from three or four blocks of portland stone. The piers are pre-tensioned to increase their load-bearing capacity and to allow them to be individually craned into position. A dignified and urbane addition to Finsbury Square.