Barden House Site Progress
Our project at Barden House, Murieston is well advanced with the external walls awaiting finished cladding, roofing works complete and windows installed. The project involves the creation of a new community cafe along with a range of flexible commercial units capable of class 1 or 2 use.
Architecturally there is an interesting and in some senses paradoxical requirement for this building to have 'two front elevations'. The building firstly needs to address the street, strengthen the positive contribution made to Alderstone Road by the adjacent medical practice, constructed for the same client a few years earlier, and provide a focal entrance. In parallel owing to its suburban location there is requirement for plentiful car parking and a reality that many users will access from the rear.
Proportionally the elevation is designed in a rhythm of thirds, strategically two panels solid and one glazed to the more urban frontage to Alderstone Road. This creates a simple linear arrangement of screens of vertical proportion, which are architecturally and aesthetically consistent throughout whilst allowing flexibility to house pass door, opening light and signage to suit any particular tenant or location.
The integration of these functions into a simple coordinated screen provides a clean and simple aesthetic and enhances the street edge.
To the rear the elevation is conceptualised as the 'shopfront'. The rhythm of thirds remains as the controlling tool in the design evolution but is flipped to allow two panels to be glazed with a single solid panel recognising the more secure location, southern aspect and aspires to create a welcoming environment, introducing localised timber cladding and warmth.
A sheltered walkway is provided with colonnaded aesthetic allowing users to move from one premises to the next whilst under shelter. Simple construction techniques are employed to ensure simplicity of construction and commercial viability, key client requirements. Simultaneously car parking is taken away from the building to create a localised setting and allow the cafe to spill outside.
The walls of the building are constructed from a clay block system used frequently in mainland Europe but less common in the UK. The blocks facilitate ease of handling, high levels of thermal performance, speed of cutting and construction and require only 1mm bed joints providing exceptional levels of air tightness all whilst providing a 'solid-wall' feel to the building in contrast with many contemporary framed structures. New techniques in action that have been very well received by the site team!
We have enjoyed collaborating with Project Managers JDG Projects, Quantity Surveyors McLeman QS Network, Structural and Civil Engineers Will Rudd Davidson and M&E Consultants EDP and hope that our clients enjoy the fruits of our collective labour!
If you are planning a development project we would be delighted to hear from you. Click here to get in touch.