River Plate House
Waterman have been appointed by Stanhope/Mitsubishi Estate to provide structural consultancy services on River Plate House; a new 17,000m2 commercial property of remarkable architectural design, situated in London’s Finsbury Circus.
The existing building at 7-11 Finsbury Circus was constructed in the mid 1980s and consists of a structural steel frame that supports lightweight concrete floor slabs. It has a number of concrete cores and internal columns on the floor plate along with a large central atrium, all of which currently limit the flexibility and accessibility of the current office space. The scheme proposal is to demolish the existing structure, retaining only a 1920s façade to South Place, which will be stretched and altered to suit the fenestration of the new development.
The new building will provide a column-free space around a central concrete core, with clear façade-to-core dimensions of 16m. A couple of additional stories of office space will be constructed at the 7th and 8th floor, providing green roof and landscaped terracing which will offer attractive views over the affluent Finsbury Circus.
The scheme design retains the two existing basement levels but rationalises a number of level changes in the sub-basement, providing level space for plant use and improving the overall efficiency of the basement. The lower ground level will accommodate a balance of retail and office space and include a plant room.
The ground beneath the existing site is heavily congested with large under-reamed piles and throughout the scheme it has been Waterman’s desire to re-use the existing piles wherever possible, supplementing these with additional new piles where the loading arrangement dictates. The re-use of the piles would minimise site works and new material use. This approach is largely dependent on validation and warranty of the existing piles and extensive site investigations are planned once vacant possession of the building is obtained. In parallel, a raft design has been developed in the event that there prove to be issues with the existing piles once investigations are complete.
The new development will target a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. New structural elements will be specified with a high percentage of re-used or secondary aggregates and cement replacement products to minimise the carbon footprint of the development. Additionally, solar arrays will be implemented at roof level to provide renewable energy.
David Fung, Board Director of Structures, commented; “After successfully working with MEC on Paternoster Square, we are commissioned on RPH and are taking the lead in Revit 3D modelling at stage C, which aided the team to identify all the key site constraints at an early stage.”
The development is due to commence on site in October 2013.