Origin Bracknell

This mixed-use development needed a balance of three factors: an economic way of constructing two levels of underground car parking on a site with roads on three sides and devising different structural solutions to maximise the value of the housing and offices.

For the car park we battered back to the site boundary and put in a retaining wall of contiguous piles, the buildings are supported as a large raft foundation. Using a very straightforward steel frame in conjunction with the floor slab and cores to give stability means the offices have a structural grid of 12.5 × 9 m, giving largely column-free space. The cladding is a curtain wall of glazing and extruded clay tiles. For the housing with different spatial requirements we proposed simple load-bearing masonry and precast concrete floors.

Understanding the repertoire of structural techniques allowed us here to develop the most appropriate structure for three very different functions within cost and constructional parameters.

Mixed-use block on a restricted site with two storeys of underground parking

Bracknell, UK
AXA Reim
Marshall Architects
£ 7 million