The strong visual presence of Moxon's design is created by an array of anodised aluminium fins, cantilevered from vertical support brackets on all four façades of the building. The aluminium fins, are all oriented in the same direction. On the South West façade they act as a large scale brise soleil and rain screen, but appear more visually permeable on the South East façade. Early morning and winter sunlight is able to enter the building while in high summer sun is excluded and so does not adversely alter the environmental conditions within the building. The aluminium fins also appear as a thicket of material that gives the building a striking appearance that changes dramatically depending on the position of the viewer.
This competition winning scheme by Moxon was the result of an international design competition organised by Gardinia Ltd and the RIBA. The clients brief called for an ‘exceptional piece of architecture’, which would provide a high quality office space and a ‘landmark’ office scheme suitable for the highly visible and prominent site.
Moxon’s designs were selected by a jury including architect Ian Simpson and Nick Johnson of developers Urban Splash. The project has since received a commendation’s from the Architectural Review, British Council of Offices and MIPIM 2009 Future Projects Awards.
Ben Addy, director Moxon architects says: “Preston is an ambitious city and this competition presented us with an opportunity to work on a unique landmark building for the area. The intelligibility of the project enabled a really constructive dialogue with the Local Authority. It has been very well received by the local community and it was great to see it being passed so emphatically.”