Barratt London’s redevelopment of 128-150 Blackfriars Road, provides 336 new homes made up of studios, one, two and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses, together with more than 40,000sqft of commercial and retail space – all built around two new public squares. The development features onsite amenities such as a concierge, residents’ fitness suite and rooftop garden with stunning views across London. The mixed-use quarter contains shops, cafes and restaurants together with flexible workspaces that can accommodate up to 24 small businesses with employment opportunities for around 300 people.
Each of the five blocks has a distinct facade character. Dark, smooth brickwork is used for the lower base as a typically urban, robust and distinguished plinth. In contrast, white glazed brickwork lightens and defines the upper section of the two-storey plinth. A 27-storey tower is the focal point at the start of Blackfriars Road. The slender tower has a hexagonal design to reduce its visual impact from all angles. The remaining four blocks vary between five and seven storeys.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Following a successful lightweight steel frame tender – EOS’ client Stanmore – secured the facade package for the Blackfriars Circus project. This was a sizeable project for EOS who designed, manufactured and supplied a full Infill Steel Framing System (SFS) for this extensive development.
CHALLENGES AND RESOLUTIONS
The key drivers behind the specification of SFS, was speed, sustainability and cost certainty.
EOS’ approach to design and value engineering is inclusive. Working with our client and their designers, EOS developed a complete solution incorporating design with structural calculations.
Steel offers architects’ greater versatility than other building solutions, particularly in terms of cost. Through the use of offsite technologies, buildings can be on-stream faster. Productivity advances have been achieved throughout the steel supply-chain and such cost saving benefits can be shared with contractors.
The manufacture of steel in factory controlled conditions enhances build programmes, eradicates the risk of onsite variability and improves onsite health and safety – these combined benefits, provide more predictable outcomes.
As an advanced high performance offsite solution, steel is not susceptible to shrinkage, warping, cracking, rot infestation or moisture absorption. Steel is a robust, rigid and dimensionally stable material that does not suffer from movement created by moisture related issues.
The combination of accelerated handover times along with reduced lifetime repair and maintenance costs are two major financial advantages of SFS, allied to other financial benefits gained from offsite construction – improving cash-flow for the contractor and developer. Through the use of offsite construction and the rapid delivery that it provides, developers and contractors are able to gain a faster return on investment.