The Whinney Mackay
Vintners Place is a new, 37,000 m² office building overlooking the Thames in the City of London. Built in a classic style, it is next to the historical, listed Vintners Hall owned by the Vintners Company. The client had requested that the marble floor be realised from interesting and different types of material and should be inspired by St Peter’s in Rome. Whinney Mackay-Lewis, who were also the building’s architects, won the international competition for an 800 m² floor in a pattern that displayed a range of colours and explored the chromatic wealth and veins of different marbles from countries around the Mediterranean.
The floors in all the main public areas are in elaborately-patterned marble, echoing motifs from St Peter's and other Roman churches by Bernini. Bands of Estremoz marble frame the patterned areas and help define the architectural and structural grid. The radical design of the Compass Hall revolves around a central sun/compass which highlights the new orientation of the building at this point and directs visitors to the main stairway and the South Gallery. Magnificent stairway inspired by a Bernini original in the Vatican, it leads to the entrance Atrium on the main floor of the Gallery. The marble steps with their carefully-measured height rise between freestanding columns and walls decorated with niches on either side. The Stairway broadens out invitingly as it descends and leads to a hall dominated by succeeding arches accessing the lifts to the north, and then, to the right, runs through the Gallery with its sky-lighted six floors.
Here the pattern on the marble floor, inspired by St Peter’s, is complete. The overall effect is airy and elegant, conferring a strong sense of identity and classic harmony. The marble has been carefully selected for its veining, shade and pattern. The whole floor is laid out to a grid pattern with 3-metres squares with 60-70 cm borders enclosing the various shadings and circular designs.