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Bloomberg’s new headquarters in London recently achieved the RIBA Stirling Prize 2018, considered the UK’s most prestigious architecture award.

This accomplishment also marks a milestone for the architecture firm behind the building, Foster + Partners, which has become the first practice to win the prestigious Stirling Prize three times. Its previous wins came in 1998 for the American Air Museum in Duxford, and then in 2004 for 30 St Mary Axe.

Judges described the project, budgeted at roughly £1 billion (US$1.3 billion), as a “once-in-a-generation project” that has “not just raised the bar for office design and city planning but smashed the ceiling.” It is thought to be the biggest stone building in London since St Paul’s Cathedral.

The design has been dubbed the world’s most sustainable office building and has received an ‘Outstanding’ evaluation against the BREEAM sustainability assessment method, with a 98.5 percent score.

“Unlike most offices, instead of a large central core formed of lifts and staircases, Bloomberg’s services are pushed to the edge and the people form the core of the building,” writes the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on its website.

“Everyone passes through the reception lobby before being drawn into the ‘Vortex’ – a dramatic double-height space created by three curved timber shells. From here, high-speed lifts carry you directly to the sixth floor ‘Pantry’ – a large concourse and café space with views across the City.

“A 210m high bronze ‘ramp’ that is wide enough for impromptu conversations without impeding the flow of people, winds down and links the office floors below. Workspaces are clustered in the wide open-plan floors[,] which are filled with pioneering new technologies including multi-function ceilings fitted with 2.5 million polished aluminium ‘petals’ to regulate acoustics, temperature and light.”

Speaking about the project, Mike Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies, explained, “When we embarked on this project, we wanted to create a cutting-edge design that would push the boundaries of what an office building could be, which meant setting new standards for openness and sustainability. At the same time, we wanted to honor London’s history and contribute to its vitality. We knew that if we could achieve both objectives, we’d have a building that would inspire everyone who set foot inside it. This prize indicates that — thanks to the brilliant Norman Foster — we succeeded. And we’re grateful to everyone who worked so hard to bring it to life.”

Take a look inside the award-winning Bloomberg HQ through this video by RIBA below.

[via RIBA, Bloomberg and Foster + Partners, video via RIBA Architecture, main image via video screenshot]

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