Financial Times Printing Works

Grimshaw, London, 1988


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The entrance facade 

Jo Reid and John Peck     Download Original

  • The entrance facade    
  • The printing press seen through the glass skin. Steel columns support the roof and the crane rail    
  • The presses at work at night as newspapers are printed at night    
  • The entrance side is to the south, with free standing staircase towers    
  • The presses in the daytime    
  • Steel column with outriggers to steady and tension rods to support the glazing    
  • This side of the building faces East India Dock Road and gives a dramatic view of the presses at work    
  • Nightime view of the press hall     
  • Paper store, the west end of the building is solid and can store up to three weeks supply of newsprint     
  • Context location plan    
  • Layout plan    
  • East-west section    
  • South-North section    
  • Axonometric of rainscreen cladding    
  • Detail of elevation and section of junction between vertical and horizontal cladding rails    
  • Detail of glass fixing bracket    
  • Plan of glass fixing bracket    
  • Glazing assembly support structure    

Glazed and aluminium-clad technical building that was designed to allow passing commuters to see the paper's two vast printing presses

An open plan structure divides the building into two clear-span zones either side of a central service spine that contain paper storage at each end. The presses, now decommissioned, were visible from the East India Dock Road through a long glazed screen.

The central lengths of each side facade are glazed with solid end bays and staircase towers on the entrance side. The solid skin is made with vacuum-formed panels of aluminum.

The 96m long screen is made up of a frameless structural glazing system developed especially for the building. Columns are set at 6m centres. Each side of the column has projecting steel cantilevers, positioning the stainless steel ‘dinner plates’, which secure the glass at the place where four sheets meet. The vertical load at the plate is taken by tension rods extending up and over to the head of the column.


  • Completed: 1988
  • Floor area: 14,000m2
  • Sector: Industrial
  • Total cost: £18.3M
  • Address: 24 East India Dock Road, London, E14 9YY, United Kingdom

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