Grand Union Building

Grand Union Building - Design

The high performance of the building’s facade system achieves thermal comfort through the flexibility of its low energy environmental control systems. The external envelope comprises a variety of lightweight cladding panels designed to meet a range of performance and aesthetic criteria. The main glazed facade to the office areas is the most sensitive in terms of comfort control, and is designed to maximise daylight in the building whilst limiting solar heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. The building features a solar shading system contained within a climate moderating triple glazed wall system. Glazed from floor to ceiling, the facades incorporate mechanically operated blinds in a ventilated cavity offering protection from solar heat gain and glare. The operation of the blinds is controlled to respond to solar conditions, operating in three modes – fully open, fully closed and half closed – appearing uniform over a given facade.

In addition, RRP initiated the development of a cost and space-efficient on-floor air handling unit, developed with the Mechanical and Electrical engineers. This was able to be located on the underside of the toilet core lobby, (rather than on the office floors or in the basement) thereby increasing the net floor area.

The revised proposals maintain the original objective to create a major public space at the eastern end of Paddington Basin. Unrestricted public access throughout the site and to the waterside remains a key feature, with distinct pedestrian routes linking all residential and commercial buildings. Accessibility for people with disabilities has been a primary design criteria for all open spaces and connections, while the scheme’s provision of shops, restaurants and leisure facilities will offer a new range of amenities to the existing community.

The high performance facade allows thermal comfort to be achieved using low energy environmental control systems. The glazing system is the most sensitive in terms of comfort control, and is designed to maximise daylight in the building whilst limiting solar heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. The scheme features a solar shading device contained within a climate moderating triple-glazed wall system.

The client body was very engaged in the design process and participated in design update, planning and cost control meetings, as well as attending third party meetings with the local authority, presentations to GLA, CABE and English Heritage.

Paddington Basin will become a major recreational resource for London. The scale of the Public spaces within the Grand Union scheme will provide amenity not only for future occupiers but will also act as a magnet for the surrounding community. The new adjoining marina, designed to provide a turning circle for barges as well as mooring facilities, will reinforce the waterside ambience.