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20 July 2022

Year 12 3D Design Students Visit the Bloomberg’s European Headquarters

On Monday 18th July, our Year 12 3D Design students were invited to visit Bloomberg’s European Headquarters based in Bank. The £1.3 billion building designed by Norman Foster of Foster + Partners scored a 98.5 percent BREEAM sustainability rating and was named the winner of the 2018 Stirling prize for being one of the most environmentally friendly office buildings.

They explored the innovations in sustainability implemented in the building’s design, beginning their journey in the lobby of the building known as “The Vortex”. The timber walls chosen for its warmth and excellent acoustic properties are comprised of 6000 unique, micro-perforated panels assembled in a balanced sequence of three inclined, curving shells.

The unique petal-design ceiling panels save energy by improving the efficiency of heating, cooling and lighting functions, as well as improving acoustics and airflow. The use of LED lights facilitates results in 40% less energy being used than a typical fluorescent office lighting system.

The green “living wall” houses over 3000 plants and is in a space that overlooks St. Paul’s Cathedral and is flooded with natural light from the atrium above — making it a perfect space for both colleagues and clients to meet.

The tour guide explained that Bloomberg was conscious of the fact that they were guests in London and placed value on being respectful neighbours. Instead of building a glass skyscraper, Bloomberg opted for two 10-storey blocks connected by a bridge, constructed in polite sandstone and bronze.

The students also visited the various meeting and function rooms, as well as the broadcasting set of Bloomberg’s HQ. All these rooms featured “voice lift” microphones which can isolate and amplify speakers’ voices so that anyone in the room may be heard without needing to provide additional microphones.

At the end of the tour, the winner of the annual Serpentine Pavilion Design competition was announced. The judges were very impressed with all the designs submitted and exclaimed how it was a very close call.

Miguel Gil was proclaimed the winner and awarded with a £100 Amazon voucher and a paid 2-week internship at an architectural firm.

Miguel’s design won with its flexibility in functional space, the judges made note of how it could be transformed into a space for an art exhibition, music venue or café. They were also very impressed with his modular design, allowing the structure to be dismantled and re-built easily, meeting the needs of the Serpentine Pavilion design brief.

Miguel Gil’s winning design for the Serpentine Pavilion Design competition

Because it was so close, the judges could not award a runner up, so they gave the rest a £50 voucher for their efforts. In the end, everyone was a winner!

We are so grateful to Tina and the professional panel of architects and engineers from the M.J Lonsdale group for their support in sponsoring the competition and Bloomberg for hosting us in this spectacular visit. This has inspired our students greatly to consider how sustainability can be better achieved in our living and working spaces!

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