22 Bishopsgate Team

PLP Architecture

22 Bishopsgate stands as the tallest tower on the City of London skyline. Unusual for a project of this scale and location, many key roles in its creation were female-led. From defining the brief to realising its construction, the cross-disciplinary team of passionate professionals collaborated across different organisations, fields of expertise and specialties to create a building for people; one in which we would want to work.

Karen Cook, Lead Architect and PLP Founding Partner, has been involved with the site for nearly two decades, initially at KPF securing planning permission for The Pinnacle, which established the peak of the skyline on this site but foundered in the global financial crisis. In 2012, Sir Stuart Lipton approached Karen to create a new design that would be more efficient and to higher standards. Despina Katsikakis, Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of Occupier Business Performance, advised on defining a focus on people’s health, wellbeing and productivity. Karen refined this vision, building a team around her to create a vertical village in the City of London. This new vision convinced AXA-IM, led by Anne Kavanagh, then Global Head of Asset Management, and the 50% female-led investor club, to invest in 22 Bishopsgate, despite the Brexit referendum. The current CEO at AXA-IM, Isabelle Scemama, continues to support the development; AXA is one of multiple tenants. Amy Holtz, PLP Director and Head of Sustainability, co-managed the architectural design and coordinated the multi-disciplinary team through to completion. Amy served as the main liaison with the client and contractor, providing a relatable and knowledgeable gateway through which the design could be translated. Amy and Karen helped forge a path for further talented female architects to lead packages. Angela Parrozzani brought clarity to complicated basements compiled from three pre-existing building foundations. Ines Mateus detailed the 3-story entrance hall that serves as the civic face of the building. Mariangeles Fernandez led the development of the façade alongside PLP Partner and façade specialist, Rob Peebles. Mariangeles worked closely with Katharina Hausmann, project manager at Gartner, to realise the external skin of the building. LRD’s Lydia Morrow managed stakeholder relationships, ensuring smooth delivery alongside AECOM’s Kallirroi Deligianni and Helen Smith, employer’s representatives who managed procurement, contract administration and client-monitoring teams. During construction, exceptional female leadership guided Multiplex. Design manager Erin Kingston was a conduit between professional and construction teams. Janet Paul, Construction Manager, held everyone’s respect through her friendly and no-nonsense management of the site. 22 Bishopsgate was awarded Community Engagement Project of the Year thanks largely to Social Value Manager Amy Dawson’s dedication. A considerable contribution from all collaborators, irrespective of gender, made this project a success. However, the breadth and depth of the female involvement at the team’s highest levels, from concept to operation, is notable. Female collaborators represent investors, architects, City planners, artists, engineers, quantity surveyors, lawyers, contractors and statutory bodies, among others. As tenants move into 22 Bishopsgate and the free-to-access public viewing gallery prepares to open its doors, it is time to celebrate this enormous achievement.