An imposing new gateway building for Stockley Park in West London, the UK’s most celebrated business park, has just been completed. Aberdeen Asset Management instructed Barr Gazetas to design an imaginative and sustainable re-development of a failing 1990’s office building. Re-using the structure of the once celebrated former building, the architects have created a bold new landmark that signals the rejuvenation of the architecturally important Business Park.
The original building by Arup Associates was praised for being ahead of its time in environmental sustainability when it completed in 1992. The past 25 years have seen enormous progress in sustainable design and the Arup Associates building did not meet modern environmental standards. Briefed by the client, Aberdeen Investment Management, to bring the building into the future, Barr Gazetas’ extensive redevelopment has once again made 4 Longwalk an exemplar of environmental performance with a BREEAM Excellent rating.
Barr Gazetas has also recently completed re-developments at Reading’s Green Park. Tom Lacey, director of Barr Gazetas said “Business parks first appeared about 30 years ago. Most of the buildings were not built for a long life and now bits are falling off, and many do not meet modern building standards. Over the next decade, we will see a metamorphosis in Britain’s business parks as ageing buildings are renewed and revitalised. As before, Stockley Park is leading the way.”
The transformation of 4 Longwalk has delivered over 98,000 sq ft of modern office space, including a one-storey roof extension and a full height extension at the rear. Not only have the two extensions expanded the internal area by 32%, the added height has lifted the roofline making 4 Longwalk the most prominent building and a new landmark for the park.
At the front of the building, a dramatic 19m cantilevered roof shelters the new forecourt and provides an impressive entrance for visitors. The secondary entrance features a walkway sheltered by a 30m canopy with green roof.
Inside, the reception area has been enlarged and redesigned to create a dramatic four storey space which increases the impact and presence of the entrance whilst matching the scale of the rest of the building. The reception also features a series of staggered levels prominently cantilevering over the space which reference the staggered volumes of the building.
Whilst Barr Gazetas design has remained faithful to the existing building form of two staggered blocks next to a central spine, the practice has relocated and reconfigured the main core to provide an additional lift and open up the reception space to improve the internal layout. The original atrium has also been repositioned to increase internal efficiency and features a new fully glazed roof to bring light into the middle of the space.
Stuart Paterson of Aberdeen Investment Management commented “We are delighted with Barr Gazetas’ transformation of 4 Longwalk. It not only delivers a significant aesthetic improvement to Stockley Park, but also provides a valuable increase in office space for this key asset.”
The entire floor space has been fitted out to CAT A standard and now provides light and modern Grade A office space.
Externally, the tired metal cladding was removed and replaced with fully glazed unitised curtain walling throughout, creating a much tighter envelope. To prevent overheating whilst still maximising views and natural light, Barr Gazetas created a different treatment to the south elevations of the building, preventing overheating whilst maximising natural light. All elevations feature a striking vertical band at each storey which gives the building a horizontal emphasis that mirrors the roof plane whilst expressing the four-storey massing of the scheme. A 60sqm green wall was also incorporated onto the south facade to create more texture in the design and break up the glazed curtain walling.
The contemporary upgrades also include over 400 sq mof PV panels which have been fitted on the roof to generate renewable energy. The PV system will reduce the building’s total energy consumption by 16% and carbon emissions by 26%, equating to a reduction of 162 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The landscaping in front of the building’s entrance has been remodelled to suit the new extension. The entire site has been upgraded with new planting, signage and lighting.
Reflecting on the project, Tom Lacey said: “The practice is known for carefully crafted design solutions and the refurbishment of historic buildings and sites. Bringing our skills to a project of this size has provided us with some new and interesting design challenges which we had to overcome to create a building with the impact and presence suited for a contemporary building of this size and relative to its surroundings.”
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