The proposal for Cannons House reinterprets and redefines Denton Corker Marshall’s original mid-1980s postmodern façade, bringing it into line with commercial expectations commensurate to the second decade of the millennium. Largely cosmetic, rather than remedial, the project ‘facelifts’ the existing grid of rendered concrete and square windows with a new sumptuous skin of dimpled copper-coloured stainless steel. The aim here is to camouflage the matrix of square fenestration by the introduction of new polished stainless steel spandrels and painted steel shrouds, ‘lassoing’ window components into new horizontal configurations.
Similarly, the sheer existing façade is distorted by the introduction of a new bicycle storage zone, flaring into the street, a kind of urban skirt. Literally reflecting Harry Seidler’s opposite 1989 Shell House, the new Cannons House street-level façade explicitly references Seidler’s use of polished stone cladding.
A new tube of stabilised aluminium foam will also be inserted into the foyer. The foam – used both in automotive and military applications – will be counterpointed by a lightbox ceiling.