AXA commissioned Haworth Tompkins to redevelop this prominent corner site in the centre of St Helier, which was previously occupied by a six-storey office tower. The old building dominated a skyline made up of much smaller buildings and broke with the traditional street pattern. By creating a much lower structure, it was possible to relate to the scale of the neighbouring architecture.
“Haworth Tompkins made a determined effort to understand precisely what we wanted. They made the effort to continually revise and improve upon the design, not just produce a set of drawings and stand still. A commitment that was recognised by the planning authority who were initially nervous of any development proposals for the site and which resulted in the project being given a Civic Trust award.”
Andrew Nesbitt, Former Property Director, AXA Equity & Law
The corner site presented a great opportunity to create a significant landmark by expressing semi-circular stair tower as part of a full-height entrance conservatory. This became highly animated, containing lifts and open galleries overlooking an area which was brought to life by the constant movement of people through it. Meanwhile, the top floor was occupied by a glass pavilion and landscaped roof terraces, which offer spectacular views over the city and out to sea.
In response to the exposed coastal location, natural self-finished materials were specified which would not rely on applied coatings for their durability. The use of a granite base with light coloured natural aluminium curtain walling above it blended tonally with the traditional stone and stucco of the adjacent buildings and complemented the local architecture. Glass, stainless steel and timber - equally robust and durable - completed the palette of materials.
La Motte Street
Address: St Helier, Jersey
Completion Date: January 1997
Construction Cost: £4.5M
Client: AXA REIM
Main Contractor: AC Mauger Ltd
Structural Engineer: Ward Cole
Services Engineer: ARUP
Quantity Surveyor: Tompkins Robinson Surveyors
Civic Trust Award