The site of a former petrol station has been given a new lease on life as 1 Valentine Place, an award-winning sustainable office building certified BREEAM Excellent. Completed in March 2013, the seven-story office building was designed by West London architectural practice Stiff + Trevillion, who clad the contemporary structure in anodized aluminum and high-performance, solar-control glazing for a sleek and minimalist appearance. The energy-efficient building was a 2013 NLAwards winner and was shortlisted in the 2014 RIBA London Awards.

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black office building with several glass windows lit up at night

Located on the corner of Blackfriars Road and Valentine Place, 1 Valentine Place provides grade-A office accommodation across 3,000 square meters within close proximity to the Southwark station. Though undeniably contemporary in design, the building is sensitively scaled and oriented to relate to its more traditional neighbors. For instance, the seven-story office building steps down in mass to match the rooflines of the smaller buildings next door, thus creating space for a large outdoor terrace that overlooks views of the City of London.

Related: Railway heat to be repurposed to warm London homes this winter

large, empty white room with several rectangular windows
round doorway entrance leading to wood-lined lobby

The architects constructed the building with an in situ reinforced concrete frame structure that’s internally exposed to take advantage of passive thermal mass. The exterior is clad in anodized aluminum and energy-efficient glazing as well as solar fins to mitigate unwanted solar heat gain. The glazed, double-height ground floor is protected by an overhang and is designed to engage the pedestrian realm. The reception is lined with wood paneling inspired by the area’s heritage.

rectangular windows revealing views of trees
aerial view of black and glass office building in City of London

“Sustainability features such as exposed thermal mass, air-source heat-pump technology and a photovoltaic array far exceed Southwark’s stringent carbon reduction targets,” the architects noted in a project statement. The use of renewable energy and energy-efficient strategies are estimated to provide energy savings of approximately 40 percent.

+ Stiff + Trevillion

Photography by Kilian O’Sullivan via Stiff + Trevillion