A new mixed-use development on the site of the Walthamstow Arcade, a 1960s shopping precinct. The site was empty for 10 years but has now been redeveloped to include five storeys of apartments above retail space at street level. Behind the apartments are communal gardens and a block of maisonettes. Beneath both is a multiplex cinema.
This arrangement posed a number of technical challenges regarding loadings, acoustics and servicing. The allowable zone for structure above the cinema was too narrow for a conventional beam and slab arrangement given the 16m clear spans required for the cinema auditoria. This was overcome by forming a series of 1m deep reinforced concrete upstand beams which extended into the landscape zone and required close co-ordination with the landscape designers to avoid any tree pits.
The cinema roof was cast using waterproof concrete and was structurally isolated from the residential blocks to minimise shrinkage and thermal stresses. This allowed the cinema to be fitted out before the primary waterproof layer was installed and facilitated the early handover of the cinema before the rest of the development was complete.