Back to Content

Charles McLaughlin — Local Capital

Where two polar interiors collide: public life takes over the once private interior of the Bank HQ, a sign that public trust with our banks has been restored.

Local Capital — A new bank headquarters for the 21st Century. By Charles McLaughlin



Isle of Dogs, London Borough of Tower Hamlets



The dream: to regain public trust in banking – the catch: they’re your business partner. Straddling the polar economic worlds of the Canary Wharf and Cubitt Town, Local Capital’s long-term plan is to make wealth inequality a thing of the past.



Our relationship with money has shifted from having a strong link between the physical and emotional to being almost wholly virtual with no emotional connection. All the while, commercial banks promote themselves on liberal values to cover their backs and invest your money in overseas projects that do not directly impact you.



Local Capital proposes a radical reimagining of banks’ interaction with its customers, where your money is invested into vital space for business-start ups and other services where you can go to get financial advice and support.



A fiscal building that exchanges ground rent to businesses for shares in their business profit is an ambitious idea that all office buildings could implement, if we wish to see a future of perpetual economic success.



One way banks can help their customers to ‘financially succeed’, is to remove themselves from dense metropolises and relocate into neighbourhoods that face wealth-inequality to provide vital start up space.
The diagram attempts to answer how commercial banks can organise themselves to regain the public trust that has weakened over the years.
Conserving the existing perimeter trees of St.John’s Park, establishing navigation with eight cores and replacing the middle with artwork, public kitchen and vast amounts of future-proof space.
The architecture is set at a domestic datum of nine and half metres and provides a flexible new public square that locals can use as they wish.
Startup office space wraps around long co-work desks with direct access to fresh air via a loggia, where spiral staircases provide quick access to financial advisors above.
Inspired by the ceiling heights of the art galleries, users are flooded with natural sunlight.
To allow students, professionals and the general public to study financial history to understand how finance has worked, rather than how it should work if key unrealistic assumptions are made.
Spaces for customers to get financial support via private booths where customers can flow up from the ‘public office’ staircase, and bank representatives work alongside each other.
Where two polar interiors collide: public life takes over the once private interior of the Bank HQ, a sign that public trust with our banks has been restored.
A public square below, public & bank office in the middle, public balcony on top and two pavilions for customer well-being + rentable office space giving great views over London .
The design intent of the load-bearing precast concrete structure is to establish it’s heavy and rigid presence, whilst retaining a sense of openness into the building.

Further work 

Contact details