__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 66

INTERVIE W

John McElgunn & Stephen Barrett Following the launch of RSHP’s newest cultural building, partners John McElgunn and Stephen Barrett talk public space, leisure and legacy with Magali Robathan

66 CLADglobal.com 3 2019

PHOTO: ©NIC LEHOUX

I

meet John McElgunn and Stephen Barrett at their 14th floor London office in the RSHP-designed Leadenhall Building – or the Cheesegrater, as it’s more popularly known. The tower’s triangular shape – it was designed this way to avoid encroaching on a critical view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Fleet Street – makes the building instantly recognisable, but it’s the amount of publicly accessible space at its base that sets it apart from most of the other towers in the area. At more than 2,000sq m, it’s a large undeveloped area for this densely developed part of the City, which provides, according to the designer, Graham Stirk, senior design partner at RSHP: ‘A rare breathing space within the dense urban character of the City of London’. Strictly speaking, it’s privately owned (commissioned by developers British Land and Oxford Properties and sold to developers, CC Land in 2017) but it’s open to the public and when I arrive it is being well used, with people sitting on the benches, chatting, and eating their lunch. The Leadenhall Building is a good example of several of RSHP’s key approaches, including the flexible nature of the building, the celebratory display of its structure and services and the use of bright colours seen in the furnishings of the practice’s offices. Most importantly, say RSHP partners Barrett and McElgunn, it’s the provision of public space which really reflects the aspirations and philosophy of the practice. Barrett, who joined RSHP in 1993 and was made partner in 2016, leads the design for many of the practice’s French projects, and heads up the firm’s sustainability group. McElgunn joined in 2001 and was made partner in 2016. Working with Graham Stirk he has been heavily involved

Profile for Leisure Media

CLADmag issue3 2019  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded