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The Vortex, Bloomberg

The Vortex, Bloomberg

Interiors

Location: London
Architect: Foster + Partners
Client/Owner: Bloomberg LP
Structural Engineer: AKT II
Main Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine
Joinery Company: TMJ
Wood Supplier: Topakustic
Wood Species: American red oak

The Vortex is a dramatic double-height space at the main entrance of Bloomberg’s new European headquarters. Its three inclined, curving timber shells are a literal and metaphorical twist on classic wood-panelled London lobbies. It is deliberately mysterious, responding to Bloomberg’s objective to create a building that unfolds gradually. The openings between the individual timber shells define the building’s separate entry and exit paths. The structure consists of a double timber wall, constructed as a pre-assembled series of stressed-skin cassettes, where the main joists are orientated to generate the curvature of the surface, while keeping the timber elements straight. The timber skeleton is covered by a double layer of plywood and timber panelling chosen for its warmth and ability to provide excellent acoustic properties. 6,000 unique panels had to be put together, much like a large jigsaw that could only be assembled in a particular sequence. Four shades of veneer were randomised across the surface to avoid concentration of any one shade in a particular area.