Paddington Basin Masterplan

Paddington Basin Masterplan

This scheme is located within the new masterplan for Paddington Basin – adjacent to Paddington station it will offer a revitalised, mixed commercial, residential and retail waterside environment. The basin has excellent rail, road and London Underground connections with a direct link to Heathrow Airport via a 15 min express. The building - now the new corporate headquarters for Marks & Spencer - comprises 13 levels of accommodation, including plant and parking facilities at basement level. Large triangular floorplates create a visual foil to St. Mary’s Hospital and provide good levels of daylight and oblique views along the canal. The forms are cut back on plan to create simple contained external spaces fronting onto the canal that benefit from increased levels of sunlight. Public pedestrian ramps provide a natural route from North Wharf Road, through the lower ground level to these new spaces.

The building comprises served space - the main occupied floorplates - and servant spaces providing the essential support that allows the office floors to function. These elements are distinctly expressed in the form of the building. The floorplates are formed by a simple structural system that creates a good quality, flexible working space. Two full height atria with circulation bridges allow the penetration of daylight and create a secondary aspect to the North of the site.

The secondary service elements are distinctly expressed in the form of corner towers that service the main accommodation creating emphasis to the canal edge and the main entrances to the building from North Wharf Road. The principal vertical circulation towers contain the main passenger lifts and give a strong dynamic identity to the development, clearly visible from the elevated Westway and other locations remote to the site.

Massing datums from the overall masterplan for the Paddington Basin site identify and organise the building form into clearly delineated elements. These comprise a set back at the lower level; a middle shoulder section and a set back at level six comprising terraces that articulate the upper floor levels.

The building is designed to meet present and forecast environmental legislation. In reconciling the need for low operational costs and the provision of an excellent working environment, the designers have considered a range of environmental issues.

Waterside has remained true to what was originally a very robust, flexible and considered architectural response to a difficult brief for a high-value commercial development on a demanding inner city site. That the finished building is so close to the original concept is testament to a highly methodical and intense early design development..

Location London, England
Type Masterplanning
  Culture and Leisure
Dates 2001
Client Chelsfield plc
The Architect Richard Rogers Partnership
Andy Bryce, Russell Gilchrist, Mark Hallet, Graham Stirk,
Andy Young