© Will Pryce
© Will Pryce
© Will Pryce
© Will Pryce

3 City Place

City Place is a business park on a brownfield site just outside Gatwick Airport. The aim of this design by Hamilton is to dovetail efficient construction with maximum value. This calls for a regular structure which balances efficiency with flexibility above ground, and a foundation strategy that means any irregularities in the ground are kept there and not allowed to impinge in the lettable space.

Fortunately, the only complication in the ground is a tunnel leading to the pre-war listed beehive terminal building. Even though it needed infilling our analysis showed that the ground around it is sufficiently stable to allow normal mass concrete pad foundations. Above ground we produced grid studies to establish the optimum column spacing, while flat slab construction for floors simplified formwork and construction, and gave flexibility for horizontal service distribution.

Another factor in the structural design came from the façade. It has a high specification to improve acoustic and energy control and so has less tolerance than a conventional cladding system. Accordingly the structure has to be stiffer than normal.

A further element that investigation showed needed extra robustness is the canopy. This gives the building an identity, but being near a road added risk of a vehicle potentially hitting the single column originally proposed, precipitating a possible collapse. We eliminated this risk by adding a column.

Business park close to Gatwick with regular, cost-effective structure

London, UK
BAA Lynton
Hamilton Associates
£ 9.5 million