Citi to overhaul Canary Wharf skyscraper for flexible-work era

Jan 27, 2022

London

BLOOMBERG - CITIGROUP will completely refurbish its 42-story office tower in London's Canary Wharf district, a 3-year undertaking that underlines the bank's commitment to London and office-life even as it moves to more flexible ways of working.

The US lender said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 26) that it expects the overhaul of 25 Canada Square to be completed in 2025.

The project will cost more than 100 million (S$182 million) and will require all staff to relocate while the work takes place, a person familiar with the matter said.

The overhauled Citi Tower, which the bank bought for 1 billion in 2019, will have a greater emphasis on shared work spaces and energy efficiency.

It is expected to be the most carbon-efficient building in Citi's real estate portfolio and home to 9,000 colleagues in London, as well as the bank's EMEA headquarters.

Features include:

Creation of winter garden and health gardens.
A new ground floor connecting visitors to Canada Square and Jubilee Park, two of Canary Wharf's biggest parks.
A greywater system where water from hand-wash basins and showers will be reused in flushing toilets and urinals.

"Our rejuvenated EMEA headquarters will be designed to maximise collaborative work-spaces, supported by technology, to enable us to work flexibly and with maximum agility," David Livingstone Citi's chief executive officer for the EMEA region, said.

While the work is underway, staff will be housed in the neighbouring 33 Canada Square, which the bank also occupies, as well as some additional temporary space it will also rent, the person said.

Citi emailed its London staff last week telling them to come in at least 3 days a week after the UK government ended its work-from-home guidance.

Protective measures remain in place, including its lateral flow Covid testing programme and staff should continue to test each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.