Aviva, St Helen's, Leadenhall

Breathing light into the city

Illuminating St Helen’s - the 1960s tower was transformed into a 21st century building, reflecting our client's position as an industry leader, while its day to day operations continued as normal.

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Aviva, St Helen's, Leadenhall Project summary




London, UK

Key partners

TTSP, Cundall, Aecom

Services provided

Interiors, Construct




UK and Europe

Project timeline

Start date
December 2013
End date
July 2016

Project story

Aviva’s HQ is sandwiched between many iconic buildings within the vibrant City of London. However, our client's reception space and conference facilities needed reviving.

Mace Interiors fully refurbished the ground floor reception, mezzanine and auditorium level, transforming the building into a dynamic, interactive space for guests and employees alike. We also renovated the building's gym, toilets and ancillary spaces.
The concept for the refurbishment revolved around ‘bring the outside in', opening up the building with a full glass façade. Other features included specialist lighting of a full height atrium, a 300-seat auditorium and the installation of a large curved LED screen - currently the largest in Europe.

Business continued as usual with minimal disruption. Our expertise in working in occupied spaces proved essential to the success of the project. The once outdated office block is now a modern, cutting edge space that sits proudly next to its city neighbours.

Aviva Building - Female Waiting for Lift - Mace Group

Project stats

314,945 hours worked without a reportable accident
5,500 sq m of construction

Points of note

Engineering value for the client

Under a two-stage contract, we proposed value engineering options to the client and design team to help Aviva ensure the project came in within budget.

An adaptable approach to ensure delivery

A number of changes were made by the client throughout the project, which we were able to incorporate while maintaining delivery on time and budget.

Illuminated thinking

The prestigious development includes transformative features such as illuminated porticos on the ground floor that can be lit in different colours depending on the activity taking place or theme they want to achieve.

A new exhibition space

Interactive media screens have been installed for visitors to use alongside an artwork wall for client artwork exhibitions, creating a dynamic space.

Minimising risks for the client

As the panels for the external façade only get made four times a year in Germany, the client had to place an order before planning permission had been gained to avoid delaying the project. We partnered with the cladding subcontractor to ensure all the information needed was correct to minimise risks to the client.

Minimum disruption to normal business

As the main works took place in reception, we created temporary reception areas depending on where work was taking place, so that the project could be delivered in a fully occupied building.

Opening up the building

A glazed curtain walling system has been installed all the way around the ground and mezzanine levels, replacing heavy framed glazing that had made the space dark and unwelcoming.