Tell us about the early design brief
Part of a larger masterplan to develop the 73-hectare Stratford City site, our development features six separate blocks, ten storeys in height and a central zone that includes a car park and courtyard deck. In line with LOCOG’s requirements, the apartments were to be used as hotel accommodation for athletes during the Games then for permanent housing after the Games.
What challenges did you face along the way?
The top layer of ground was as deep as ten metres in places and included fill from previous industrial works. These uncertain ground conditions meant that piling was a contractual stipulation.
Design was driven by tight time constraints and as such we selected an in-situ concrete frame with cores for lateral stability. We were able to erect the building efficiently using a modern crosswall construction method and included slight variations between the townhouse and apartment column arrangements.
The design featured setbacks on certain rooftops and we devised a lightweight steel solution to avoid deep transfer structures below. We also considered several options for the balcony design, including in-situ and precast concrete, but eventually opted for steelwork fixed with a thermal break system.
What about specific design challenges?
The design met important site-wide environmental requirements in a number of ways: we achieved a high thermal mass and regulated heat loss by selecting concrete, while at roof level we included a green wall and ETFE cushions which flooded the building with light. We also used GGBS in the concrete mix, which reduced the cement content by up to 36% and reduced the carbon footprint in the process.