One Blackfriars

UK, London, One Blackfriars road


Inspired by a Finnish vase from the architect Ian Simpson’s personal collection, this awe-inspiring 200-metre landmark tower looms over the River Thames. Providing panoramic views across the skyline of our capital.

A complex structure of 5,467 individually glazed panels making up the outer facade, the bespoke steel glazed rooftop “The Cap” delivered directly from China presented alignment and access difficulties to provide a stunning finish to an already modern and bespoke building.


Unitised Curtain Walling double skin Opening vents;

Stick Curtain Walling; GRC Rainscreen cladding;

Bespoke Glazed Steel structure to top;

Glazed balustrades and dividing screens;

Soffits, Louvres and Doors.


50 floors

109 of tower top structural steel

332 individual curved glass unit

5,467 individual Unitised panels

41,600m2 of bespoke cladding

1,752 individual and motorised glazed louvre banks


The location and footprint of the project with its close proximity to local residents led to constraints on delivery times of materials. The project required 4 shipping containers per day to arrive at the site to be unloaded and reloaded to maintain the Programme. Such a confined site meant the project team had to both plan their strategy in intricate detail and work closely together on a daily basis to ensure the logistical and installation process was maintained.


The lifting and accurate positioning of the large factory pre-fabricated steel sections for the Cap was a high-risk activity.

A full complete ‘trial-build’ of all the bespoke steel ladders that make up the Cap structure was completed at our factory in China, prior to delivery to site. This helped to both develop and trial a safe method of installation and to check the geometry of the design to minimise the “does not fit” potential 200m in the air over London. The pre-assembly allowed actual tolerances and deflection to be measured and alignment issues to be addressed, thus ensuring the installation on site progressed smoothly.


The bespoke designed elements of the project proved to be a challenge as they were all purposely designed for One Blackfriars, and each of a unique size/shape. The prominence of the building and the Architects’ expectation of the aesthetics of the building was achieved by constant review of the procurement of bespoke items coming from Germany, Spain, China etc


‘The cladding package for One Blackfriars was extremely challenging and involved both curtain walling and GRC cladding. Because of the development’s complex geometry, particularly the tower and the podium buildings, there were numerous design and technical challenges to overcome, which pushed conventional techniques to their limits. Working with the consultant team, Yuanda’s excellent design team met these challenges with enthusiasm and skill to develop bespoke solutions. The results speak for themselves.’

Christian Male, Partner and One Blackfriars Project Leader, SimpsonHaugh


St Georges


Simpson Haugh Partners

Main Contractor


Facade Consultant

Cladtech - FMDC


UK, London


Residential, Private Rented, Retail Business Units

Contract Type

Design & Build


Completed Q4 2018

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