Merrill Lynch Headquarters

Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, London, 2001


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The European Headquarters of Merrill Lynch 

David Churchill/Arcaid (website)     Download Original

  • The European Headquarters of Merrill Lynch    
  • View towards the Old Bailey from Giltspur Street    
  • New facades have a clear expression of structure with a dominant frame    
  • The buildings frame a series of public spaces which open up the site    
  • View from King Edward Street with the remains of  Wren’s Christ Church Greyfriars to the left and the refurbished Post Office building to the right    
  • Complex demolition in a sensitive neighbourhood had to be combined with temporary support engineering linked to the retained facade on Newgate Street    
  • The glazed galleria which flanks the main block,    
  • Inside the steel structural frame is clearly visible    
  • A new link building contains escalators    
  • Meeting areas and cafe    
  • The architect extended their design from the building right down to the furnishings and their finishes    
  • A conference room    
  • M & E considerations had to take into account the high density of the trading floors    
  • The Post Office building’s imposing colonnaded hall has been restored for conferencing space    
  • View out onto the new public spaces    
  • Cloisters around the edge of the new green space    
  • Site plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Forth floor plan    
  • Section    
  • Newgate Street elevation    
  • Isometric    
  • Working detail column/beam junction    
  • Section through facade and first floor    

Headquarters to provide Merrill Lynch with high quality office space, two of Europe's largest trading floors and client and amenity spaces in four buildings

The building height was determined by St Paul’s Cathedral and the basement depth by the Post Office railway tunnel systems. These constraints heavily influenced the M & E plant location and form. Careful attention had to be paid to external noise as there are sensitive buildings adjacent to the site and the plant operates continuously.

The former Post Office building on King Edward Street has been refurbished, with the imposing colonnaded hall at street level restored for conferencing space and a small display about the history of the site, open to the public.

The architecture has a clear expression of structure but clad in brick and stone so that the frame, rather than the glazing, is the dominant element.

The buildings frame a series of public and communal spaces, which open up what was a closed site. A green central quadrangle between the main and west blocks can be accessed from the west and south, where a new public route runs behind the restored Newgate Street shops.

The focus of the development for those who work there is the glazed galleria which flanks the main block, extending east-west through the site.


  • Begun: Jan 1999
  • Completed: Oct 2001
  • Floor area: 77,000m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Tender date: 1997
  • Procurement: Construction Management
  • Address: 2 King Edward Street, London, EC1A 1HQ, United Kingdom

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