The new 570,000 sq ft (gross area) building will also provide a mix of retail, small business units, gymnasium, Sainsbury’s food, and cooking research and demonstration suites. The building may also accommodate an ‘exploratory centre’, where visitors can explore issues relating to education, sustainability and building, to facilitate links between local schools, higher education and employers.
Responding to the client and tenant brief, the project has achieved a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating, (the UK standard for sustainability)and will deliver an overall carbon saving of 41% below UK Building Regulations Part L (2006). Allies and Morrison’s proposals include half an acre of roof gardens with a rich mix of greenery encouraging wildlife of many kinds to this urban setting. Other green measures include solar-tailoring to redistribute warm and cold temperatures saving manufactured energy,and rainwater harvesting, for irrigation and toilet flushing.
The design of the building recognises the strong warehouses and transit sheds that form the character of the area. Allies and Morrison’s proposal incorporates a material palette of robust brick columns and concrete beams with deep reveals. Metalwork is kept to a minimum in the form of simple punched metal fins and recessed spandrel panels
Construction on the building is due to start in May and the scheme is due for completion early 2012.