The current property

1 Golden Lane is a Grade II listed commercial building which was recently home to UBS.

The building was constructed as the Cripplegate Institute, opening in 1896. It was extended in the early 1900s, rebuilt again in the 1920s and in the 1980s the large office building at the rear was added. In 2020 the building’s former tenants, UBS, vacated 1 Golden Lane. Significant work is now required to make the building an accessible and sustainable contemporary office building for future tenants.

Location of the site

The building is located on a prominent island site, which is bounded by Golden Lane, Brackley Street, Cripplegate Street, and Viscount Street.

This site is on the northern edge of the City of London, between the Golden Lane Estate to the north and the Barbican Estate to the south and east. It sits within an established residential community and has further residential buildings within its immediate vicinity, including the recently completed Denizen to the north and Cobalt Building to the west. The site itself does not sit within a conservation area but the Golden Lane and Barbican conservation areas are located close-by and we aim to respect their distinctive characters. 1 Golden Lane also benefits from excellent nearby public transport links, including London Underground and Elizabeth Line stations.


We have worked extensively to understand the history of 1 Golden Lane, including using local archives.


The approach has been to assess and research the existing building to inform the new scheme and ensure the future refurbishment reflects its context and is sympathetic to the character and appearance of the area.


Originally built as 3 storeys, and almost square in plan, the building was home toThe Cripplegate Institute which was opened in 1896. A foundation stone for the Cripplegate Institute was laid by the Duke of York two years earlier on 3 July 1894. When opened the Institute provided a wide range of facilities including reading and reference libraries, classrooms, a theatre and a rifle range.


Archive materials show there were alterations and a large extension early in the life of the building, including drawings dated 1910 showing the upward extension of the building.


The Cripplegate Institute closed in 1973 and the building’s biggest change came in the late 1980s when the auditorium/hall and lending library section to the rear of the building were demolished and replaced with the current large office building. Further height was added to the building with this redevelopment.


In late 2020, the building’s former tenants, UBS, announced they would be vacating the premises. The building is now vacant and securing future tenants will be difficult due to condition of the building, including its poor accessibility, dated façade, ineffective sustainability features and poor quality office space.