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48 PROJECT REPORT: MIXED USE SCHEMES


SIBERIAN LARCH


Renewably sourced Siberian larch was specified for the tapered facade bays, due to its durability as well its aesthetic as the material ages


part of the overall mass.


Changes to the massing of the building have been made at ground- and first-floor levels, where an extension fills out the pre-existing granite-arched arcade which previously skirted the building and extends out to the north-east, increasing the volume of area dedicated to retail space at ground level, of which there was none prior to renovation, and office space on the first floor.


Across the building, stone cladding has been traded in for timber, black and grey-white gradient coatings and black cladding, while the north-east end features a mural painted with geometric designs in blue, grey, white and yellow.


Retained in the new design are elements of the original facade, explains Roberts: “The building itself is very rhythmic in its existing language, so we used that to develop our spacing.” Full-height glazing and a series of white powder-coated aluminium louvres and concave bays featuring doorways accentuated with timber cladding are interspersed along the ground- and first-floor facade, to coincide with the original building’s rhythm. The design limits solar gain while the timber cladding adds a dimension of warmth. A


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“The idea is that you can share everything” Thidaa Roberts, associate director, RHE Studio


large timber bay signals the entrance to the building on its northern elevation.


Interiors


Export Building’s internal programme is primarily devoted to commercial office space, which occupies floors two to nine almost exclusively. Four floor plates make up each floor slab, which have been cut back slightly from the original design to open up the atrium and allow more natural light to cascade down into the building. The office spaces are ‘Cat A’ with the suspended ceilings having been ripped out for extra height, exposing the services and giving tenants more freedom to arrange their workspaces as desired. Grey carpets have been replaced with exposed raised access flooring, and walls painted white, reflecting the scheme’s corporate ethos. The ground floor hosts semi-private meeting rooms, and an array of retail and restaurant units which are “open to the


ADF OCTOBER 2019


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