Loftus’s Poultry plan signals City’s creative shift

City icon One Poultry, EC2, is being repositioned as a “design-led HQ creative office” in the heart of London’s financial district.The move is symbolic as the City of London looks to remarket itself as the strength of financial services wanes and the TMT sector strengthens.The Grade II* listed postmodernist building designed by Sir James Stirling, which sits atop Bank Underground station and neighbours the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange, is being refurbished to attract the next generation of creative businesses.US fund manager Aermont Capital has appointed Jacob Loftus’ General Projects as development manager to reposition the asset, which will deliver 110,000 sq ft of “inspirational” offices with gallery-style spaces and ceiling heights of up to 3.8m.At first floor level an internal facing atrium that sits at the base of Stirling’s iconic rotunda will be transformed into a 3,000 sq ft terrace in the middle of the building to be used for informal meetings.

Some 25,000 sq ft of new independent retail and leisure activities will be added at ground level. A new 4,000 sq ft reception will feature bespoke artwork, while Coq D’Argent, the D&D London-operated restaurant, will remain on the top floor and will run a programme of leisure and food-based events in the building. An underground complex will offer cycle parking, a cycle repair shop and shower facilities.Loftus said: “It is about embracing much of the building’s cultural and design-led heritage to reimagine some of the inside spaces to create really use-driven design-led inspiring office space that will be all about a great experience for the end occupier.”

The area has come to represent the next stage of the City’s evolution, with Bloomberg’s new European headquarters designed by Foster + Partners on one side of One Poultry and Soho House Group’s new hotel and members’ club, Ned London, on the other side in a Grade I listed building. Each project will deliver a new leisure offering to the City, with restaurants secured by Soho House including Cecconi’s, Malibu Kitchen and Millie’s Lounge, which serves American and British classics such as fish and chips 24 hours-a-day.Aermont Capital bought the building for £110m in April 2014 from Michael Feldman. The office space was principally occupied by Aviva, which left in February following its lease expiry. The Square Mile needs to become a global tech hub as new technology such as cyber security, machine intelligence and artificial intelligence disrupt the legal, banking and insurance sectors, a report commissioned by the City of London Corporation and City Property Association found (see below).The “fourth industrial evolution” is already dramatically changing working practices. Law firms such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are using artificial intelligence to automate document reading. Juliette Morgan, international partner in the global technology practice at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The City has been a centre for trade and commerce for 2,000 years and was home to the original coffee house at Lloyd’s of London. As its indigenous industries face automation, we must collectively brace for a future which redefines activities in the City.”The redesign of One Poultry is due to complete in December 2017. GM Real Estate is the leasing agent. Nash Bond and Bruce Gillingham Pollard are the retail and leisure agents. BuckleyGrayYeoman is the appointed architect.