The Grand Union Centre site forms part of an overall masterplan for 10 acres of largely vacant and underused land to the north of Paddington Basin which terminates the Grand Union Canal. Strategically the site is at the heart of a designated regeneration area, within walking distance to excellent public transport connections, unconstrained by any listed building or conservation areas, unaffected by any strategic viewing corridors and located close to an existing cluster of tall buildings
Comprising a substantial mixed-use development, the scheme features a tall building of exceptional quality which will become the defining symbol of the 80-acre Paddington Regeneration Area. Grand Union Building will become a pre-eminent example of an environmentally-conscious, high density brownfield development at the centre of one of London's major public transport hubs, terminating the cluster of existing tall buildings in the area and creating a structure that adds vibrancy to the London skyline.
The massing strategy proposed for the high rise element consists of three structural towers connecting three floorplate segments of 24, 32 and 40 floors respectively. These combine to create a varied skyline profile which is rotational in its composition, with building floorplates decreasing in size as the building gets higher, ensuring that the building's profile changes depending on the angle of view.
The building incorporates an hotel, offices and retail space. A health club at level 25 can be used by both office and hotel, providing public access to the first sky garden, with a high-level public observation tower at level 41. A large winter garden space is inserted between the two residential buildings on the axis of the highrise building behind, providing a window to the new piazza and the basin beyond and creating an animated year-round space for office, reception, restaurants and exhibitions. Residential accommodation is arranged on ten levels each side of the winter garden space - living accommodation is located to the south, with balconies overlooking the piazza and canal basin. Retail units and studio spaces are organised at ground and first floor levels along a colonnade that fronts the main piazza. The scheme also includes a new community theatre extending under the piazza, as well as car parking (613 spaces), a bicycle park (400 spaces) and coach parking. The main glazed façade to the office areas is designed to maximise daylight in the building whilst limiting solar heat gain in summer and heat losses in winter. The external 'Klima' façade utilises a solar shading system contained within a climate moderating triple glazed wall system. The hotel also uses this system, but with manually opening shutters instead of motorised blinds. The high performance nature of this façade system achieves thermal comfort through the flexibility of its low energy environmental control systems.
The design of the buildings gives clarity to the overall composition and an expression of its constituent functions within a clear architectural language. The complexity and richness of the external appearance of the buildings is achieved without decoration but by the celebration of simple functional constituent elements both at macro and micro levels.
|Culture & Leisure|
|Dates||1999 - 2004|
|Client||PDCL (Paddington Development Corporation Ltd) / Chelsfield plc|
|The Architect||Richard Rogers Partnership|
|Maurice Brennan, Maxine Campbell, Stephen Light, David Merllie, Andrew Morris, Richard Rogers, Marita Schnepper, Patricia Sendin, Graham Stirk, Daniel Wright, Andy Young|
|Acoustic Consultant||Bickerdike Allen Partners|
|Civil Engineer||Halcrow Fox|
|Cladding Consultant||Bickerdike Allen Partners|
|Main Contractor||Carillion plc|
|Planning Consultant||Montagu Evans|
|Quantity Surveyor||Gardiner & Theobold|
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