Location: LONDON
Date: 2014-2015
Client: Land Securities
Status: Completed
Credits: ACME Team (Duarte Lobo Antunes, Friedrich Ludewig, Lucy Moroney, Iria de la Peña, David Rieser)

New Change is one of the oldest streets of the City of London, leading from St. Paul’s Cathedral to London Bridge. It is the historic location of the medieval High Street and market. One New Change is a major office and retail development at the corner facing St. Paul’s Cathedral that seeks to bring leisure and retail uses back to the banking quarter of the City of London. Designed by Jean Nouvel and opened in 2010, the project contains retail uses at basement and ground floor, restaurants on the first floor, office uses on floors 2-6 and a rooftop with bars and extensive outdoor seating.

The stair at One New Change is intended to be a sculptural feature in the public space facing St. Paul’s, and to drastically improve the pedestrian circulation between the lower, public levels of the project. The stair’s geometry, materiality and visual effects are an interpretation and transformation of the finishes used for the existing One New Change building. The curved glass balustrade is treated with a fading mirror frit, transitioning from fully mirrored to fully transparent, giving the illusion of people  floating down the stair. The soffit of the stair is made from 3-dimensionally curved mirror polished stainless steel, creating a warped perspective of its form that seems to disappear. In order to use the rain cover created by the new stair, the handrail has been designed to extend beyond the stair and turn into a bench, creating sheltered seating and a new meeting point. Special attention was paid to preserve continuous lines and surfaces, in order to make the staircase merge smoothly, effortlessly, harmoniously with the context.