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PROJECT REPORT: COMMERCIAL & WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTS


and character needed in the office spaces. With standard floor to floor heights called for by the clients combined with a requirement for generous floor to ceiling heights, the architects omitted ceilings but exposed services, meeting the aim of using the minimum amount of materials. This was driven by cost efficiencies as well as sustainability: “With the low rental market, we couldn’t put up a really expensive building,” says Doody, “so it was trying to find ways to deliver quality, space and character at low cost.”


The brief required a 5,500 m2 net internal


area, in an “exciting typology with unique spaces for users,” and “ultimate flexibility.” This meant that tenants ranging from two-person start ups through to large corporates could be catered for, in “simple, easy to adapt space; a warehouse workplace.” In the event, Ocado took the top two floors for its regional office, and a smaller company has taken a tenancy for half of the ground floor. “We did a lot of space standard testing,” Doody says, regarding the Beam’s designed- in adaptability, “but also made sure it could be easily done, not having to move services for example.” Partitions can be easily set up, and there are no high-level services other than lighting and cable trays.


Space, ventilation & light The design simplicity starts from the 6 m x 12 m steel frame and precast concrete construction, which enables cross- ventilation across 12 metres. There’s an elevated, planted


central courtyard between the two wings of office space, accessed from the first floor, which is sheltered by a glazed screen. This is the building’s “green lung,” which is the core of the natural ventilation strategy. The tenants are able to benefit from full natural ventilation, however some have adopted different approaches, using comfort cooling as per their own ventilation standards.


There are low and high level windows, so single side ventilation for offices that don’t link to the courtyard is possible if partitions are required near a facade, alternatively open-plan offices can have cross-ventilation. In terms of sustainability, the EPC A-rated design was predicated on simple proven approaches like openable windows, radiators, LED lighting, external shading, insulation and air-tightness, plus the thermal mass obtained from concrete planks.


The more land-locked rooms towards the ADF JUNE 2021


41


© Daniel Hopkinson


© Kirsten McCluskie


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


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