The Shepherds Building, London
The Shepherds Building provides space primarily for television and media production companies. Based in Shepherds Bush, it underwent a full refurbishment in 2000, with an additional floor added, creating an 8-storey building. There are 3 points of entry, east, west and the central entrance, the latter being principle point of entry for the upper 2 floors of the building. The surrounding buildings are of variable quality, with a diverse range of styles and scales, home to a rich mix of residential and commercial buildings.
Duggan Morris Architects were selected by owner Helical Bar in 2013 through a competitive selection process, to design a new central entrance building and carry out a comprehensive refurbishment of all communal areas including a café and terrace. The previous central entrance was a small security hut with a canopy and glass door leading to the lift lobby, terrace and cafe. There were a number of issues to address: poor way finding, identifying the principle entrance, lack of security and a hindered connection between the café and terrace.
The design has sought to better define and identify the central entrance to the building by giving it a greater volume and visual integrity. Extending the ground floor terrace and surrounding it with a perforated metal screen has allowed the tenants to enjoy the privacy of the space, whilst remaining part of the street and strengthening security. The windows were placed in strategic positions to create views through into the building and the terrace.
The new entrance building and terrace screen are clad in dark profiled metal skin to reduce weight by avoiding masonry construction, and to mediate between the extensive brick mass of the main building and the various lightweight steel extensions added over time. The black finish gives greater definition and presence, with respect to the long unbroken facade of the original building. The thinness, lightness and perforations of the panels allow subtle play between interior and exterior. The constraints that affected the staggering of the building are expressed in datums with changes in panel sizes and degree of perforation and solidity.
Since completion in 2014, the building fosters a more media friendly, creative working environment which in turn has kept occupancy levels consistently high.