Complexity – Maxing it out in the city
One of our long-standing clients came to us with a dilemma. Despite being one of their best-performing buildings it was clear that so much more could be improved with the site, how it interfaced with the wider cityscape and also the community that uses the building every day.
Densification in any part of central London is fraught with difficulties, but also opportunities in terms of reworking problematic existing spaces so they coherently work better within themselves, socially and functionally, but also ‘look outward’ in a more coherent way. The proposals look both at the streetscape and building volumetric to foster both greater connectivity within a disparate set of building forms but also to bring a more conceptually strong architectural language for the site context as a whole.
The complexity of the project is not simply the additional height and the structural solutions this will require, but also the development of an architectural language that will work for both this site and sit comfortably in its surrounding setting.
The community that lives in this building is primarily young and in full-time education, and as a result, there is a fundamental importance in delivering breakout space and variety of communal activity space for students to share experiences, relax or study. We are delivering these in three new component parts spread across the vertical form, at ground floor entrance level, at the intersect between new and old and finally at the top of the building in the form of a sky lounge. The two principal elements are via a new link building that will stitch the existing buildings together, and the creation of a proposed triple height deck and community space that will break down the overall form of the building and provide an important communal break out terrace space for students to use.
As with all our projects, at its heart is the importance of developing a sense of intrinsic community and as a result, this will physically manifest itself as shared amenity and workspaces at various levels of the new building environment.