The re-cladding of the buildings:
Given the buildings’ age and deterioration, there is an urgent need to replace the overall cladding. As this is a listed building, this was carefully considered.
A forensic study of the existing facade was carried out, with the support of historical research into the solution and design intent of the original architects.
The importance of retaining the same look and feel of the existing cladding whilst delivering an up to date, highly performing envelope was studied. In addition, the need to house the new residential and hotel uses and their ventilation needs forced the team to think creatively.
The cladding solution found will re-instate the original look of the buildings’ skin, perform adequately from an environmental point of view, and be fit for purpose to the new uses.
So the search for a sustainable, highly performing facade solution that would also retain the same design intent as the original listed envelope continued, as shown on this page. It was hence decided that the balconies should be fully internal to the existing floor-plate and insulated envelope, and together with AKT II, a solution for glazed louvres was found.
The insulated glazed louvres would benefit from a glass to glass edge, and when closed would not greatly modify the look of the glazed panels. The mullions and transoms of the elevation would be re-instated identically.
The Overall Cladding
Very early on the design team identified that the redevelopment solution for the cladding was of paramount importance due to the relevance of this component in the Listing of the Complex. A forensic study of the existing was carried out with the support of historical research into the solution and design intent of Ronald Ward. This is documented alongside these lines.
The importance of retaining the same look and feel of the existing cladding whilst delivering an up to date, highly performing envelope was studied. In addition the need to house the new residential and hotel uses and their ventilation needs forced the team to think creatively. Our endeavours to this aim and in particular for the residential component have already been introduced earlier in this document, and in this section we go into more depth, and cover all the different building components.
In association with AKTII and Hoare Lea, JMP developed a response that was then reviewed by WCC and HE. Their feedback was essential in determining the evolution of our thinking.
The overall philosophy is to update the facade with what is now the best, most efficiently installed, most cutting edge curtain wall designed specifically for this building. This will be achieved whilst keeping the original proportions and the visual appearance.
The updated shadow boxes will be double glazed and appropriately ventilated in order to minimize the risk of interstitial condensation. The shadow boxes and spandrel panels will heavily contribute towards the greatly upgraded energy performance with their thick layer of insulation on the back. The level of ventilation possible with the current number of operable windows is not appropriate for modern dwellings as outlined in Approved Document F. So structurally glazed parallel opening windows within every 2nd larger vision panel will provide the required free cross-section.
‘Structurally glazed’ means that the glazing will continue up to the main mullions and transoms with the frame for the opening lite not protruding to the outside, ‘hiding’ the fact that the location of the vents have changed.
The architects have paid particular attention to preserving the essence of the cladding response for all components as illustrated here.