Point, Paddington Basin, The

Above: The pointed western end of the offices seen beside one of the footbridges that cross the Paddington Arm of the waterway.

One of the more remarkable modern offices that stand by the Paddington Basin is a large block called ‘The Point. It was the first building completed at the basin as part of the 1996 masterplan drawn up by Terry Farrell and Partners. It comprises 222,000 square feet of office space over 10 storeys in a wedge shape, which is rather like the bow of a ship. The plan suits the site because it is situated on the waterfront, beside the ‘knee’ of the Paddington Basin. The headquarters building was originally commissioned for Orange Telecommunications and over 2100 of their staff.

Above: Looking west at the ‘flat’ eastern side of The Point from one of the boardwalks beside the Paddington Arm. Another footbridge is seen in the view.

In the middle of the unusually shaped building is a huge glass atrium providing natural daylight down through the open plan office levels. At the top, also in the same shape of the external plan, but much smaller in size, is a stunning glass roof, with the minimum amount of structure, to let the maximum amount of light filter through to the lower levels, whilst appearing as if it floated over the atrium well when viewed from beneath.

Above: A model of the development showing overall shape of The Point. Notice the roof of the model and centre ‘boat’ shape glass cover over the top of the atrium. The two footbridges, beside which the two pictures above were taken, can also be seen on the model.

Apart from the external shape being able to be seen by the public as they walk along the footpaths, the impressive internal features of the office block are never seen by the general public because it is not accessible. From the flat eastern side, the building looks rather like any other office block. It is only the western side, with its curved walls coming together to a point that make these offices unusual.


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