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Julian Neave has been speaking with Jon Massey on YY London and what it will be bringing to Canary Wharf
April 6, 2021

“The goal was very much to design a building that was striking and beautiful, but also that changed the ground floor experience locally,” said Julian.

“We will be activating the space at the lower plaza level, but also at the South Colonnade where the main entrance used to be. The new front door will be on the Tube statin level – opening into a triple height reception area, linked to South Colonnade via a beautiful internal staircase.”

“It will be active, lively and welcoming to members of the public. The lower level will have a coffee-bar restaurant, a Grind -style operation – there’s an Italian deli that’s already interested in the space previously occupied by the Slug and Lettuce.”

“There will be a separate juice bar and, in the old All Bar One unit, we already have interest from restaurant groups that are known across the capital. We want to make these easily accessible to both the tenants in the building and the public.”

The South Colonnade level will house the more professional reception area and will provide great access to Crossrail coming from the other side of the Wharf,”

“Above that we have the office floors – each with a balcony overlooking West India Middle Dock. Level 11 has a huge wraparound balcony and Level 14 is a 7,000sq ft roof terrace. Due to the building’s location we have views over Jubilee Park and across the dock – green space and water – and that’s rare in London.”

“The terrace on top of the building has been designed with a pavilion that will be communal to a multi-let building or private to a single-let building, and could be used for board meetings right through to Yoga sessions, art installations or drinks parties.”

Quadrant was still at the design stage for YY when the pandemic hit. The effect of Covid has been to boost plans that were already focused on the health of those inside the building, complete with a smart system for touch-free entry from pavement to desk.

“The slogan for this building since the start is: ‘Feel good, work great’. Our aim has always been to make this building the iPhone to everyone else’s Blackberry – we want people to be proud of it.”

“Behind the scenes we have UV sterilisation of the lifts when they’re empty, as well as the air coming into the building and the water. We changed the air system so each floor can be separated and tenants can have their own supplies if needed.”

Other measures include use of antibacterial copper alloy, floor patterns for subtle social distancing and the installation of hand sanitisation points.

“By doing refurbishment rather than building from the ground up we save more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2,”

“We are on track from BREEAM Outstanding and we’re exploring carbon net zero through renewable power, which would be brilliant.”

“It’s going to be a very green building with a lot of great facilities.”

“YY’s location really is second to none – it is a great opportunity to regenerate 30 South colonnade.”

“One of the things that has come out of this lockdown is that while we do like working in the office, we really don’t like the commute. That puts buildings that have great transport connections front and centre of the demand.”

“The Jubilee line is excellent, people are increasingly using the Thames Clippers because they don’t feel they have to rush so much, and then there’s Crossrail which will be a game-changer for travel across central London.”

“We strongly believe Canary Wharf Group is taking the estate in the right direction – increasing the number of residential properties and retail above ground as well as creating new green spaces.”

“While the old building was well known, it wasn’t perfect for the office space. With floor-to-ceiling glazing and beautiful architecture we believe YY will stand out.”

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