St Helen's Square
This square was designed to front the new headquarters of Commercial Union and the main London office of P&O when it was created in the 1970s. The open space was not part of the original plans, but came about as a result of access and planning issues that made it impossible for either company to optimise the amount of floor space they desired across the site. As a compromise, the two companies decided to participate in a joint development of an open concourse area at the junction of Leadenhall Street and St Mary Axe, onto which both would have front entrances. St Helen’s Square (named after the nearby 15th-century church of St Helen’s Bishopsgate) became a key public piazza. It is the third largest open space in the City of London and offers a welcome place for workers from surrounding offices to enjoy al fresco lunches. In 2016, permission was granted for a new 73-storey skyscraper to replace the Commercial Union building (now called St Helen’s), though a date for demolition has not yet been confirmed.
Datassette’s extensive and diverse back catalogue includes albums and 12-inch records on Apollo (R&S), Shipwrec, Ai Records, and Rebel Intelligence. A highly-talented producer with an assured feel for the intricacies of creating emotional electronic music, his commissions range from a ten-channel ambient soundscape for the Norwegian Maritime Museum, Oslo, to 8-bit video game sound effects for Pixeljam in North Carolina. In between his production work, he also curates the much-loved ‘Music For Programming’ series of podcasts, now on its 50th episode.