Build March Issue

Build Magazine 44 tanding out in London is not easy, especially if you are located in the shadow of the City’s futuristic skyscrapers. However, the creative minds at Bogle Architects, one of the youngest and most interesting studios in Europe, did just that with their reinvention of the entrance to 140 Fenchurch Street thanks to the workmanship of Marzorati Ronchetti, leading Italian manufacturers of specialist metalwork. When this pairing of a young architectural firm and a renowned specialist metalwork manufacturer came together on this project, innovation was an inevitable result. Bogle Architects, founded in 2012, consists of a highly creative group of individuals, all of whom share the common desire to design and build architecture which is considered progressive and imaginative. These desires clearly reflect the work done by the well-established Italian metalwork manufacturers, which was founded in 1922 in Cantu, at the heart of the Brianza, Italian artisanal and industrial district, dedicated to the manufacture of products of design. Marzorati Ronchetti is today’s leading company in the field of specialist metalwork, related to the production of design, Art, furnishing and architecture. Marzorati Ronchetti’s specialism in metal, particularly stainless steel, is the reason Bogle first approached the Italian company when they were designing the signature element of the project, the multi-faceted ‘feature’ wall. As the Italian company has overseen the design, development, engineering, manufacture and installation of a wide range of projects, from single objects and art pieces, to furniture, internal décor and architectural elements, they were an obvious choice for an innovative firm such as Bogle, who were looking to make their mark at the street level of England’s capital, and best known city, already brimming with landmark architecture. The building’s entrance located a short distance from the Tower of London, on a secondary street, required an eye-catching re-design solution. A solution that would shine and glitter like a jewel yet with an air of sophistication, elegance and daring at the same time. This project’s signature element is the dramatic, multi-faceted feature wall. The refined geometry of the new wall is achieved using interlinked highly polished stainless steel convex panels, extending from the lobby interior through the glazed facade to wrap around the building’s street façade. The reconfiguration of the entrance and lobby area involved the realignment of the lobby façade with the main building envelope, using frameless glazing to create a seamless connection between the reception area and the street beyond. The coherence of the design is further enhanced by a new floating canopy and the introduction of a large, acid-etched steel reception desk. The project also includes new steel gates to the rear of the building, featuring a punched design that reinterprets the geometry of the lobby’s distinctive feature wall, a visual reference that successfully reinforces Bogle Architects’ coherent re-imaging of the entire building. Polona Pirnat, who joined Bogle in March 2013 after a short stint as a freelance designer, following two and a half years cutting her teeth in the industry at Hamiltons ltd, Atelje and Scapelab, was the Project Architect for the Fenchurch Street reconfiguration and re-imagining, she explains how the idea behind the multi- faceted wall was born: “We chose steel for the external wall and reception area, as it is a durable and versatile material that lends itself to a variety of finishes, choosing a multi-faceted surface and texture that would reflect and diffuse light, bringing a sense of dynamism to the new entrance. Originally, we thought of using cast aluminium, but after consulting with Marzorati Ronchetti, we decided on stainless steel – a material that lends itself to more refined finishes. To ensure the highest quality of finish, the installation was pre- fabricated in a workshop and then assembled on site.” The wall’s finely detailed design was custom made by Marzorati Ronchetti, whose international portfolio includes Louis Vuitton’s Milan showroom, the lobby area for 30 St Mary Axe in London and a spectacular exhibition installation at MoMA in New York. The coherence of the design is further enhanced by a new floating canopy and the introduction of a large, acid-etched steel reception desk. Stefano Ronchetti of Marzorati Ronchetti explains: “We are often called to create designs that are halfway between architecture and art. In this case, the complex multi-faceted stainless steel matrix is an eye-catching feature with a glittering yet prized image. The steel is augmented by feature lighting along the ceiling that extends outside, adding character to the entry canopy. The reception desk was also specially designed. The mirror polished top reflects the light tones of the surrounding space. However, it is the dark tones of the slightly concave, acid-etched steel facing that makes the desk stand out, transforming it into a sort of monolith of prized tactile qualities.” Headed for a long period by Stefano Ronchetti, the grandson of one of the founders, and now joined by the Zordan Group, the Marzorati Ronchetti company cooperates with artists, architects and designers of international repute, such as Ron Arad, Mario Bellini, Antonio Citterio, Lord Norman Foster, Thomas Heatherwick, Peter Marino, John Pawson, Italo Rota, Adam Tihany and many others. 93 years of research, the highest professional standards and a continuing tradition of real craftsmanship, have made a small workshop into a versatile global enterprise, always ready to accept thought-provoking and technical challenges. SteppingOut withSteel –Re-Imagining of 140 FenchurchStreet S