AXA Investment Managers, acting on behalf of a consortium of international investors, together with its development partner Lipton Rogers Developments, have unveiled their vision for the highly-anticipated office building Twentytwo, located at 22 Bishopsgate in the heart of the City of London.
Their concept responds directly to the major shifts in the way people work and live, brought about by cultural, demographic and technological advances in the world of work.
Twentytwo has been designed as a place people will want to work in, and as a building that represents a new approach to office design. At its core, Twentytwo aims to offer choice – choice to eat healthier, choice to exercise, choice to speak to others and share experiences and choice for the occupiers in creating their own, bespoke workspaces. It is designed to increase wellness, engagement and productivity, ultimately making a significant and positive impact on the businesses and people that will form its community.
The 62-storey tower will be the first of its kind to house a fresh food market, innovation hub, gym, wellbeing retreat and spa, curated ‘art walk’, business club and cycle hub, as well as the London’s highest free public viewing gallery. It will be the first UK tower to contain in excess of 100,000 sq ft of integrated amenity and social spaces, creating an inspiring, healthy and energising workplace for a vibrant and diverse business workforce of 12,000 people.
Isabelle Scemama, CEO of AXA IM - Real Assets, said: “We invested in Twentytwo for the long term and have been bold with the concept in order to both set new standards for workspace in London and to ensure that the building is future-ready. The critical mass of the project has allowed us to push the boundaries of what is possible in an office building. London continues to show the world that it is an adaptable and resilient global city and we are confident its place as an eminent international business centre will remain, with Twentytwo an integral part of its future success.”
Designed by Karen Cook of PLP Architecture, Twentytwo will offer 1.275 million sq ft of flexible workspace for all sizes and scales of businesses to work in. Recognising that companies are increasingly looking to collaborate across disciplines and sectors, plans for Twentytwo include a dedicated space to support start-ups and entrepreneurs, providing the ability to connect emerging innovators with larger companies within Twentytwo’s community, while at the same time providing more established tenants with access to the next generation of creative talent.
Sir Stuart Lipton, partner at Lipton Rogers Developments, said: “Twentytwo is different - a first of its kind. We recognise the role of the office has changed, with workplaces now needing to do so much more than simply accommodate people. They are becoming hubs for bringing colleagues together - ‘high-tech coffee shops’ where people meet, share, collaborate and develop ideas, strategies and solutions. Twentytwo will be a truly ‘social’ workplace with different spaces for people to socialise, focus and energise. It represents how we will all be working in the future.”
The relationship between employee wellbeing and productivity is central to the Twentytwo ethos, being the first UK core and shell building to apply for the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) WELL Building Standard™ (WELL). A state-of-the-art fitness hub will include London’s first climbing window, installed directly on the inner face of the building’s external wall. This will be situated 125 metres from the ground and provide panoramic views across the City. The scheme will offer London’s largest provision of cycle parking with up to 1,700 spaces, and will include a dedicated amenity to support employee wellness, incorporating a spa and treatment area as well as zones to relax and meditate.
Twentytwo will offer an exceptional vista of the London skyline from the city’s highest free public viewing gallery, complete with top level restaurant. At the building’s base, workers will be able to enjoy an ‘art walk’ in the triple-height lobby. This programme of curated works of art and sculpture will be commissioned on a revolving basis to provide an inspiring and ever-changing display at street level.
The building forms the centrepiece of the City of London’s cluster, with access to a commuter workforce via mainline rail networks, tube and, from 2018, Crossrail. The dynamic and future-facing nature of the scheme echoes the City’s own evolution, with Twentytwo perfectly positioned to attract a diverse range of businesses as London’s centre continues to move eastwards.
AXA IM - Real Assets’ Twentytwo leasing director, James Goldsmith, said: “Over the past 10 years there has been a clear shift in London’s axis to the east. Renowned for its financial business infrastructure, the City’s cultural and social credentials are now thriving. Rather than focusing on a series of distinct sub-markets, occupiers are now choosing locations based upon their intrinsic benefits rather than historic reputations.”
Catherine McGuinness, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation, said: "We are proud to support the development of Twentytwo in the City of London. On its completion it will be one of the tallest buildings in the City skyline and will be a real sign of how London is open for business. As well as traditional occupiers, we are increasingly seeing a new wave of technology, media and telecoms companies drawn to the City’s world-leading connectivity, cyber security, infrastructure and cultural and retail offering. With more than 50,000 more people expected to work in the Square Mile over the next thirty years, Twentytwo is a world-class example of how we will meet the demand for modern office space and diverse occupiers."
Twentytwo is currently under construction and is due to be completed in 2019.
CBRE and JLL have been appointed joint leasing agents on the project.