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Green Pleasure

Updated: Jul 14, 2019

33 King William Street

Tuesday, 11 June 2019


On Tuesday 11thJune, we had the pleasure to join John Robertson, Director at John Robertson Architects, to explore 33 King William Street, a new landmark designed and delivered by his team for the international property developer HB Reavis, the latter’s first major development in the UK.

The development is located in a privileged spot in the City of London, where King William Street meets London Bridge. A combination of a very popular area with continuous heavy traffic.


The site context was a key driver behind the design of the building. From the outset the building was conceived as a complimentary backdrop to Grade 1 listed Fishmonger’s Hall, which sits in front of it, and Art Deco Adelaide House, opposite. The elevation on Arthur Street is generated by its surroundings. Its design has been inspired by the colours and tones of the buildings it faces. The result is a promenade of reflected light and earthy brick tones that marries this contemporary new building with its historical surroundings.


Access to the roof garden

33 King William Street building perfectly captures this role, as it raises a green landscaped roof that compensates for the tough, dense and polluted location catalogued as the most contaminated point in London.

The purpose of the visit was to admire the building from the deck and the facade and enjoy its meeting and enjoyment green space. The combination of the urban environment with the roof’s landscaping is impressive.


Access to the roof is designed so that everyone enjoys the green space, the views and the environment specially designed between NE, SE and W directions.


The project is totally defined or limited by the visuals between Greenwich and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, so that all elements of the roof have had to limit their height. This has led to the sinking of the building's facilities and losing part of the free height of the last floor, but leaving an impeccable roof. The gondola’s route is very well integrated with the walking path that runs along the perimeter.

Three vistas - North East, South East, West


Landscape definition of roof top

The work done by Townshend Landscape Architects is impeccable in the selection of the different species, the colour of the flowers, the smells that emerge and the overall arrangement. The drawing of the floor plan is very expressive of the intentions being sought.


It is worth highlighting the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof that achieve 4% of the total capacity of the building, achieving greater parameters when not working at maximum capacity.



Words and images: Xavier Aguiló

City Architecture Forum member

BAC-evolve consulting engineers

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Background photo  © Grant Smith - Photographer

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