White Collar Factory
Nestled in the heart of a former trade centre and surrounded by Victorian warehouse buildings whose brick façades paint a picture of their past, the White Collar Factory forms part of ongoing regeneration works in an area at the forefront of technological advancement, through provision of a high-quality, mixed-use development.
The old façades are set to remain, though minor refurbishment works will be undertaken on the buildings’ steel-frame interiors. A number of existing concrete-framed office buildings with single storey basements will be removed to make way for a sixteen-storey office tower, two additional five-storey commercial buildings with retail space and a five-storey residential building around a new public square.
The constrained site is situated in close proximity to a number of subterranean complexities. In particular, Old Street tube station is situated directly under nearby Old Street roundabout, and the tunnel running beyond the station sinks to approximately 20 m below ground, with Network Rail tunnels overhead. In certain locations our slabs will need to cantilever by up to 3 m to avoid clashes. Basements will be retained but to increase stability in the case of the new high-rise block, we are introducing additional sleeve friction piles, driving down a further 20 m. Lateral stability is provided through concrete cores.
The structural design should maximise internal flexibility, particularly given that the offices will be let speculatively; as such, the superstructure will be set out in a regular 9 m × 9 m in-situ concrete grid. Aside from its inherent thermal mass properties, this system also allows pipework to be cast into the slab, carrying warm or cold water in a ‘Velta system’ in order to further moderate temperature fluctuations. By slightly raising the floors we created the voids required for circulation and service runs and allowed adoption of this sustainable approach to heating.
New workspace at the heart of London’s creative sector
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
- 2016 MIPIM UK Visionary Awards - Visionary Building of the Year