Foreign Office Architects has been appointed by developer the Beetham Organisation to design a 8400 m² commercial project in the City of London.

The project, which is earmarked for Latham House near Aldgate bus station, will be FOA's first in the City and Beetham's second in the capital.

FOA beat shortlisted competitors that included Richard Rogers Partnership, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Kohn Pedersen Fox to land the scheme.

The development, which is due to go into planning in June, will not be a tall building because the site is close to the Tower of London. It will, however, have a substantial plaza around the building.

A source close to the project said Beetham intended to break with its usual glazed tower style and would bring "an eye-catching piece of design to the capital's rather drab commercial district".

It’s an unusual building form and is, for once,
an office development led by design

Project source

The source said: "It is going to be a vibrant project for the City. It adds a bit of character that is not present at the moment. There is a high level of public space with a new plaza in an area of the City that is not particularly pleasant. It is an unusual and interesting building form and is, for once, an office development led by design."

Beetham, a Liverpool company, is also behind a plan to erect a 68-storey tower at Blackfriars Bridge, designed by Ian Simpson. The developer will find out if it has received planning permission this summer.

Architects and urban designers are currently working on a masterplan for the Aldgate area. Terry Farrell and Partners and Wilkinson Eyre have teamed up with two other practices to find solutions to traffic problems in the area.