A new commercial office development on the site of a burnt-out Victorian building on a tightly constrained infill site off City Road.
The new building form is heavily influenced by the presence of neighbouring structures on all sides, both in terms of space, and also the complex Rights of Light envelope created. Multiple Party Wall awards and differing boundary and foundation conditions on all sides add to the intricacy of this scheme.
Access to the site was limited to the 6m wide fire-damaged Victorian façade at street level, which was carefully dismantled, and all plant and materials for the construction process delivered through this narrow slot and down to basement level via a temporary scaffold ramp.
The structure was honed and co-ordinated with the services to such a degree that an additional storey could be added to the original proposal in a facetted steel framed upper level - clad in a distinctive bronze Teku cladding.
Exposed concrete soffits and double height circular concrete columns positioned throughout the large atrium spaces help maximise the feeling of space and light within the building. The exposed concrete complements and contrasts with the existing exposed masonry of the party walls that can be seen internally, providing a link between the old and new.
The original street frontage was rebuilt on completion of the structural frame, largely concealing the new building from view until its dynamic architectural form is revealed to visitors as they make their way from the reconstructed Victorian entrance into the new light-filled new spaces beyond.
Underpinning the adjoining walls was followed by mini-piling and the installation of a complex arrangement of cantilevered ground beams to support the new columns. The new building is constructed as an exposed concrete flat slab structure with exposed circular columns.