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© Jan Friedlein
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© Jan Friedlein
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© Jan Friedlein
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© Jan Friedlein
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© Jan Friedlein
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© Jan Friedlein

The Asticus Building

In the post-planning stages of design, we teamed up with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to refine the model for the ten-storey headquarters of IVG Asticus in Westminster. The result was a BCO Award-winning structure both at local and national levels, and an iconic addition to the Victoria skyline.

The concrete frame structure’s cylindrical shape was an outcome of original discussions regarding Right to Light with the Local Authority. Since it was to be built on a plot surrounded on three sides and was in some cases as close as 1 m to adjacent buildings, a rounded façade was seen as the most appropriate option and the design was frozen.

To maximise flexibility in the layout, we furthered the design of a ‘blister’ core to the side of the building, providing rigidity for the main structure without reducing floor space. Options were analysed using SOFiSTiK software: we investigated the implications of different column positions and shapes to find the optimum return on outlay. Four columns were designed in a central square, aligned on each storey slab. Their 12 m spacing was optimally engineered to minimise the number of structural supports and therefore improve the malleability of the area.

A main feature of the building was its 360-degree views, so maximising the glazing proportions was key to the design. We streamlined the columns enveloping the slab edges, which allowed the thin mullions to encase and mask them externally.

The site’s location adjacent to St James’ Park Station required an Approval in Principle from LUL, and ongoing vibration monitoring. The frame and cladding details were fine-tuned to allow construction to continue at a fast pace in a limited area with only a single tower crane. In addition to this, further reducing time and money, we devised a foundation system bearing onto the river terrace gravel to replace the original piled concept.

A ten-storey office building in Victoria with cylindrical shape and largely interrupted glazing

LOCATION
London, UK
CLIENT
IVG Asticus
ARCHITECT
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
PROJECT VALUE
£ 16.5 million
COMPLETION
2006
AWARDS
  • 2007 BCO National Award – Commercial Workplace
  • 2007 BCO Regional Award – Commercial Workplace
  • 2007 Concrete Society Award – Certificate of Excellence
  • 2007 LDSA Built-in Quality Award – Runner-up