The Ray – 119 Farringdon Road

London, UK

The redevelopment of 119 Farringdon Road replaces an outdated 1960s building, reinventing a site that was previously occupied by the headquarters of a major British newspaper.

The project consists of a demolition and rebuild to provide seven stories of premium mixed-use commercial space in the heart of London. Clad with brick-faced precast concrete panels and aluminium curtain walling, The Ray’s ‘modernised warehouse aesthetic’ re-establishes the building’s connection to the historic area. The Ray provides a total of 100,000 square feet of mixed-use space with a range of office floorplates, workspaces and retail units, topped off with an extensive communal roof terrace.


Buro Happold was appointed during the concept design stage to provide design and engineering advice regarding the proposed cladding systems. Particular attention had to be paid to the interfacing between the two facade systems, and the large movements that were present throughout the building. This was amplified in the complex stepped terrace construction to the rear of the building, designed to provide every level of office space with its own terrace.

In addition, the client is striving towards a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, with the potential for BREEAM ‘Outstanding’, resulting in ambitious thermal targets and strict internal environmental targets, including tight solar control requirements.

External view of The Ray office building on Farringdon Road, London EC1
The new building reinvigorates the old site and provide new high quality office and commercial space. Image: Rob Parrish Photography


Close co-ordination with both the structural engineers and the PCSA contractor on board was required to mitigate the effect of the large movements on the facade system and ensure that the facade was robust. Our experts also worked closely with the contractor to ensure that the resulting solutions were both technically and practically feasible.

Buro Happold also instructed on the design of the cladding systems through detailing advice and performance specifications to ensure that the facade met the performance requirements desired by the client, especially at some of the complicated interfaces and geometries between the different facade systems.

External view of The Ray office building on Farringdon Road London EC1
The facade of The Ray is clad with brick-faced precast concrete panels and aluminium curtain walling. Image: Rob Parrish Photography


The Ray has successfully reinvigorate a neglected site and provide high spec, versatile office and commercial space while keeping true to the heritage and identity of the former building and its Clerkenwell setting. With the help of our experts, The Ray’s facade design gives the building unique character while incorporating systems that maximise sustainability credentials and user comfort.

External view of The Ray office building's stepped rear terrace
Specialist engineering advice was required for the complex stepped terrace construction to the rear of the building. Image: Rob Parrish Photography
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