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Axa IMRA’s 22 Bishopsgate ‘vertical village’ completed

[Photo: Jeremy Felson]

London’s 22 Bishopsgate has reached practical completion. Described as “Europe’s first vertical village” by its owner, Axa Investment Managers – Real Assets, the 1.275 million sq ft (118,451 sq m) building is approximately 60% pre-let.

The project is expected to be fully operational and formally open by mid 2021. Axa IMRA said in a statement that it will be the first major London building to embody “the structural and cultural shifts in how people work and live, which have only accelerated as a result of the current pandemic.”

Lipton Rogers Developments, Axa IMRA’s development partner for the project, and Multiplex, the development’s main contractor, have handed the project over to the building’s operational team to oversee the “onboarding” of the first occupiers.

Around 680,000 sq ft, has been pre-leased to 14 occupiers including Beazley, Convene, Canopius, Cooley, Hiscox, Nasdaq, RGA, Statkraft, THB Group, as well as a US data analytics and risk assessment firm, a fortune 100 technology company and Axa Investment Managers.

The first five tenants, occupying eight floors in total, are due to complete their fit-outs in early 2021, with some having commenced work in late 2019.

The PLP Architecture-designed building includes a broad range of amenities and common facilities which occupy 150,000 sq ft. These include a 20,000 sq ft food hub called ‘The Market’ on the second floor, an innovation hub, a gym with London’s first ‘sky-wall’ climbing window at 125 metres above ground on the 25th floor, a wellbeing space on the 41st floor, auditoria and business events space, services and a club. There is storage for about 1,700 bicycles as well as repair and changing facilities as well as electric charging points. The building also includes the capital’s highest free public viewing gallery, restaurant and bar.

‘People-centred’ and technologically advanced

Harry Badham, UK Development Director at Axa IMRA, commented: “From the outset, 22 Bishopsgate was conceived as a people centred and technological advanced building and now, more than ever, do we appreciate the importance of that goal.” 

New technologies and innovations have been incorporated in the design and 52 of the 60 lifts will be double-decker lifts, travelling at 30 km per hour. An app-based entry and security system allows one click registration and touchless access to the building using NFC, QR technology or, optionally, facial recognition technology.

Energy for the building has been procured from 100% renewable sources, and all staff employed by the operational team at the building (already around 150) will wear sustainably sourced uniforms.

22 Bishopsgate was also the first building in the UK to apply for the Well Building Standard and has been awarded a BREAAM Excellent sustainability rating.  

[Photo: Nathaniel Moore]