Recent interest in urban revitalization has made successful mixed use projects the Holy Grail of developers and architects alike. Renzo Piano Building Workshop approached the challenge by creating a colorful collection of volumes that can be seen for miles across central London. Central St. Giles Court replaces an undistinguished block of former government offices and is nestled in a historic neighborhood, so the building’s massing was proportioned accordingly.
But glazed ceramic tiles in tropical, energizing hues are applied to building facades to create monochromatic planes of color, making the building anything but subordinate to its environment. Once visitors have been drawn to the location by the enticing color scheme, pedestrian spaces and transparent glazed walls invite involvement and interaction.