Bracken House, London
Bracken House is a building at 10 Cannon Street in the City of London, occupied by the Financial Times newspaper until the 1980s, and again beginning May 2019. A late example of modern classicism, it was constructed from 1955 to 1958 to a design by Sir Albert Richardson to serve as the headquarters and printing works of the Financial Times, on a cleared bomb site southeast of St Paul's Cathedral. It is a Grade II* listed building, and was the first building built after World War II in England to become listed.
The Financial Times moved back into Bracken House, which was extensively refurbished in 2018-19 by John Robertson Architects, in spring 2019.
The building was clad in pink sandstone from Hollington, Staffordshire, as an allusion to the characteristic pink colour of the newspaper, with red bricks and bronze windows, contrasting with the verdigris of the copper roof. Editorial offices were located in the northern range, beside Cannon Street, with printing machinery in an octagonal structure in the centre, and more offices to the south, by Queen Victoria Street. Above the entrance on Cannon Street is an astrological clock, designed by Frank Dobson and Philip Bentham and made by Thwaites & Reed. The clock features the face of Winston Churchill at the centre of a large gold sunburst, Churchill having been a great friend of Viscount Bracken during the war.
Like other newspapers, the Financial Times moved out of central London in the 1980s, and the printing works closed in 1988. The building was sold by Pearson in 1987. In August 1987 Bracken House became the first post-war building in England to become a listed building, to prevent it being demolished and replaced by a new glass and steel building proposed by Michael Hopkins and Partners (the post-war Brynmawr Rubber Factory was listed in 1985 by the Welsh Office). The plans were changed to incorporate the old building, redeveloped by Obayashi Corporation between 1988 and 1992. The altered building retained the old ranges to the north and south, but replaced the central printing hall with a new glass and structural gunmetal structure on a Hollington sandstone plinth, with boxy oriel windows inspired by Oriel Chambers in Liverpool (constructed in 1864). With its main entrance now at 1 Friday Street to the east, the building was altered to include large open offices and trading floors for the European head office of the Industrial Bank of Japan, which combined with Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and Fuji Bank in 2002 to form Mizuho Financial Group, the third largest bank in Japan.
The Hopkins additions were included in the Grade II* listing in 2013.
- Bracken House, National Heritage List for England, Historic England
- London Remembers
- London Architecture Guide
- Original building, City of London