Archive 2016 08

11 Unique Building The limited number of internal columns (only three on the lower floors and six above level six) are strategically positioned to maximise the internal spans, and emphasize the internal spaces. Meanwhile the continuous precast perimeter columns crank to form the ‘creases’ in the envelope of the building. Containing a core of structural steel at critical locations to provide slenderness, the precast perimeter columns are cruciform in profile, with ‘arms’ to support the precast cladding panels, glazing and brickwork. The unique shape of the tower gives rise to a twisting effect on the building which is counteracted by the two large internal reinforced concrete cores. “These were essentially designed and constructed in jump form as solid boxes with localised openings and exposed surfaces to create the aesthetically pleasing finish which was so critical,” says Burden. The final concrete solution specified was 40 per cent GGBS; a grade which not only ensures a light and smooth finish with sharp edges, but also has lower CO2 resulting in a lower carbon footprint concrete. The design of the walls was also carefully coordinated with the services design so that all cables were cast into the walls during construction and none left exposed. “The truncated pyramid structure with sloping elevations, applies large horizontal forces creating a twisting corkscrew effect on the structure, so to overcome this two internal cores were designed and carefully coordinated with the architecture and services,” explains Burden. Unique brick façade A unique perforated brick façade envelopes the structural frame, the corners and creases are column free, emphasising the continuity of the surface, whilst providing “open views” to the exterior. In total 336,000 bricks, which mirror the look of the original building, were installed by masonry contractor Swift Brickwork Contractors Ltd between August 2014 and Photo: Daniel Shearing February 2016, using a new system that could be installed in ‘all-weather’. “The unique brick façade is the architectural wonder of the building,” says Burden. The architectural intention was for the wall to be ‘movement joint’ free and this was a key consideration in developing the most suitable brickwork system. The accommodation of the relevant tolerances in the façade, manufacture and installation were critical to achieving a successful building envelope. n A grape vine tall order EVEN residential projects can be unique, just take a look at this conservatory project. Auburn Hill, who specialise in designing and building luxury orangeries and conservatories across the UK, were asked to replace a leaking and rotten timber conservatory with a new detailed hardwood conservatory at a property in Brentwood, Essex. At first glance, it looked like a relatively straightforward project for the firm’s team of RIBA certified architects. However, on closer inspection they found they had to do it without disrupting an 80-year-old grape vine. Specialist Arboricultural/Vine Impact Assessments were carried out and a precise method of works established to ensure the conservatory could be demolished and the new structure erected without killing the highly-sensitive producing vine. The scaffolding team installed the temporary support structure to hang the vine in the exact position it was in the old conservatory prior to demolition. The vine was attached to the structure and the old building removed. The groundworks were undertaken by hand to ensure the roots could be identified and protected during excavations as well as the vine. Prior to completing the foundations, the root system was protected to ensure the vine could continue to develop and move. The conservatory had to be specially fabricated to allow installation of the new hardwood frame to take place around the vine. Frames were designed to be assembled on site around the trunk. Each roof rafter was spaced and positioned so fixing points would be identical to that of the building that was being removed for the vines to be attached and specialist glass was installed to ensure the best possible growing conditions were maintained with the new environment. Juxtaposition of old and new THE term ‘student housing’ will often conjure images of damp, overcrowded buildings in a less than picturesque setting. However, in recent years this infamous vision of student ‘digs’ of old has been gradually abandoned making way for luxury new build and designled accommodation. Unique external facades of more recent student accommodation – like Collegiate AC’s Gateway Apartments in Edinburgh – are modernising university city landscapes, whilst ensuring that the properties blend cohesively amidst their often traditional locations. Collegiate AC’s Gateway Apartments scheme, which won the prestigious RICS Scotland Residential Award in 2014, is “a stark contrast from the site’s former use” through juxtaposition of old and new architecture, explains Gordon Beaton, design director for Susan Stephen Architects who led the project. “Many design options were discussed with planning in order to ensure an appropriate yet contemporary design which sits sympathetically within its surroundings. “Natural stone was used on the main facade to complement the tenements with a beige brick, while the courtyard uses white facing brick and lightweight glass staircases to create a bright open space. “The use of white bricks in a coordinated landscaped setting has created a bright and peaceful sanctuary from the city – a stark contrast from its overdeveloped former use.”

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