5 Bank Street

London, United Kingdom

The vision for Five Bank Street was to co-create and deliver a best-in-class working environment for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) new headquarters. With an emphasis on well-being, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and community from the outset, the design fosters a culture of choice, collaboration, and innovation. The new workspace is functional and flexible, supporting the business and employees’ needs in a fair and transparent manner. 

Moving its headquarters to a new location allowed the EBRD to approach its workplace with a fresh mindset that reflects a paradigm shift towards sustainability, well-being and social responsibility; a transformation driven by the huge global changes the business has experienced during a nearly 30-year tenure in its former building, and the enormous social shifts turbocharged by the pandemic. 

The Cocoon. A Place for rest and calm.
Well-being: Seeking Connections with Nature

Throughout the EBRD’s new workplace, the design seeks to connect occupants with nature. Many elements of biophilic design are employed to enhance staff well-being, including natural materials, patterns of nature, geographical references to the sweeping curves of the Thames in joinery details, and over 3000 trees and plants across the building. Reflecting the idea of a pathway through nature, the staircase is lined with continuous timber paneling and curves around a single, centrally placed tree. The layout of the workplace floors fosters a culture of choice, collaboration, and innovation, while signage and environmental graphics reflect organic shapes and the movement of water. 

Craftsmanship and detailing.

Ensuring that the fit-out is net zero carbon was central to both the project’s design principles and the EBRD’s firmwide offsetting strategy, which meant the design and construction phase of the fit-out prioritised circularity, sourcing responsible materials, and reducing emissions wherever possible. The design of the building retains a strong focus on performance not just in terms of energy and whole life carbon, but also with regards to air, water, acoustics, and lighting quality, which will be continually verified in the operational facility. 

The new workplace at Five Bank Street is an ecosystem of spaces, creating a purposeful destination that caters for all work activities and work modes and offers staff a choice of spaces to connect, socialize, network and share ideas.
Light fixtures pick up the winding river form, as seen here on level 24, where community and human connection are fostered over food at the restaurant and café.

Project Team

Linzi Cassels
Joelle Laney
Simon Bone