76 Upper Ground was designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and completed in 1983 as an office and client marketing building for IBM. It was considered Lasdun’s last major work, and sits adjacent to his National Theatre. Although the building was listed at Grade II in 2020, it does not meet modern-day occupier requirements, and presents an opportunity for sensitive qualitative and quantitative improvements both to the building itself and its contribution to the public realm. AHMM’s plans to sensitively refurbish and extend the building will deliver an additional 11,000 square metres of flexible and highly sustainable office space for an estimated 1,200 additional jobs. The plans will provide a long-term future for the building, greatly improving and enhancing its setting within the South Bank conservation area.
The approved plans will become a model for sustainable office design. Through retaining over 80% of the existing structure, the building will be highly energy efficient, targeting both BREEAM Outstanding and certification under the NABERS Design for Performance standard with a 5-star rating. Employee wellbeing is at the heart of the design with a range of flexible spaces provided for tenants. These include large outdoor terraces, covering over 4,400 square metres which will be brought to life through a sensitive and considered landscape design. Overall, the development will achieve over a 200% improvement in biodiversity value and an urban greening factor of 0.3 in line with the new London Plan.