Can we create new buildings by dismantling hi-tech architecture, enabling the
re-purposing of high quality detailing on existing structures?
Client: Henley Investment Group
Architect: Ian McArdle Architects
Structural design in brief
Conversion of roof plant space to office
Dismantling and reconfiguring existing steel to retain hi-tech aesthetic
Internal timber infill works to increase net lettable area, minimising new steel beams required
This 1992 Hopkins Architects building is one of three in the wider Bedfont Lakes, New Square masterplan. It is a steel-framed building with precast plank floor slabs and an open roof plant space- a cutting edge structural solution at the time it was delivered, using a lean design approach and minimal materials. Though un-questionably elegant in design the building is suffering from the world changing around it and is in much need of an update in terms of its operational design.
The proposal is for the building to be refurbished and the net lettable floor area increased by converting the roof top plant space into premium office space- retaining the buildings height and hi-tech aesthetic. Minimising the embodied carbon of the refurbishment and maximising potential deconstruction and future reuse of components are key design drivers. The steel frame enclosing the open roof plant space is to be reused and reconfigured to provide a larger office space. This minimises new steelwork and associated embodied carbon, as well as material to be disposed of.
Internal infills to the central atrium will be timber joists with a plywood deck, to minimise embodied carbon, remove wet trades from site and enable erection within the confined existing space. These infills are to the void where the existing spiral staircase is to be removed and to the rear central atrium space to increase lettable floor area. This work also involves removal of parts of the existing steel shear wall stability system. Double exposed cross bracing will be provided here to open up the space. The cross bracing can be installed sequentially to minimise temporary works required during construction.