Bracken House, London

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The north and east façades, from the north-east, looking south-west

Bracken House is a building at 10 Cannon Street in the City of London, occupied by the Financial Times newspaper until the 1980s. A late example of modern classicism, it was constructed from 1955 to 1958 to a design by Sir Albert Richardson to serve as the headquarters and printing works of the Financial Times, on a cleared bomb site southeast of St Paul's Cathedral. It is a Grade II* listed building, and was the first building built after the Second World War in England to become listed.

It was announced in early 2016 that The Financial Times will move back in to Bracken House from 2018

Background

New offices were required for the Financial Times after it merged with the Financial News in 1945. The building was named after Brendan Bracken, who became Viscount Bracken in 1952.

The building was clad in pink sandstone from Hollington, Staffordshire, as an allusion to the characteristic pink colour of the newspaper, with red bricks and bronze windows, contrasting with the verdigris of the copper roof. Editorial offices were located in the northern range, beside Cannon Street, with printing machinery in an octagonal structure in the centre, and more offices to the south, by Queen Victoria Street. Above the entrance on Cannon Street is an astrological clock, decorated with the face of Winston Churchill at the centre of a large gold sunburst, designed by Frank Dobson and Philip Bentham and made by Thwaites & Reed.

1980s redevelopment

Like other newspapers, the Financial Times moved out of central London in the 1980s, and the printing works closed in 1988. The building was sold by Pearson in 1987. In August 1987 Bracken House became the first post-war building in England to become a listed building, to prevent it being demolished and replaced by a new glass and steel building proposed by Michael Hopkins and Partners (the post-war Brynmawr Rubber Factory was listed in 1985 by the Welsh Office). The plans were changed to incorporate the old building, redeveloped by Obayashi Corporation between 1988 and 1992. The altered building retained the old ranges to the north and south, but replaced the central printing hall with a new glass and structural gunmetal structure on a Hollington sandstone plinth, with boxy oriel windows inspired by Oriel Chambers in Liverpool (constructed in 1864). With its main entrance now at 1 Friday Street to the east, the building was altered to include large open offices and trading floors for the European head office of the Industrial Bank of Japan, which combined with Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and Fuji Bank in 2002 to form Mizuho Financial Group, the third largest bank in Japan.[1]

The Hopkins additions were included in the Grade II* listing in 2013. It was announced in early 2016 that The Financial Times will move back in to Bracken House from 2018.[2]

References

  1. ^ William D. Hoover (18 March 2011). Historical Dictionary of Postwar Japan. Scarecrow Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-8108-7539-5. 
  2. ^ Financial Times to return to Bracken House, The Guardian, 18 February 2016
  • Bracken House, National Heritage List for England, Historic England
  • London Remembers
  • London Architecture Guide
  • e-architect.co.uk
  • Original building, City of London

51°30′45″N 0°05′47″W / 51.51250°N 0.09639°W / 51.51250; -0.09639

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