White Collar Factory

There is a 150 m roof running track on the sixteen-storey tower. Together the buildings form an eye-catching landmark for Old Street and create a new, more accessible district which references the lanes and corridors of the historical town centre.

The mixed-use development comes as the result of an eight-year research project under the management of AHMM Director and the directors of the building contractor Derwent London in cooperation with the engineering offices AKT II and Arup. This study examines why storehouses and factory buildings from the 19 century are so long-lasting and how these structures can promote and inspire sustainable development. They defined the five key elements: high ceilings, deep levels, modest passive facades, concrete structure and intelligent maintenance which are to form the basic principles of the White Collar Factory.

The architecture of the new tower uses concrete in several ways. The concrete not only forms the structure, but also provides the thermal mass, supports embedded cold water pipes and provides an expressive finish both inside and out. Board formwork concrete surrounds the building at road level. At the top, the glazing is interspersed with metal plates, which are punched with "portholes" and framed with anodised aluminium plates. The building envelope extends beyond the overall height of the roof to shield the roof runway. An inner shield made of cedar wood protects the roof system and the bar.

Designed to withstand the expected consequences of climate change, the passive systems are optimised with concrete slabs. The custom-built "Concrete Core Cooling" system heats and cools. The glazing varies depending on the orientation of the tower, most are oriented to the north, fewer to the east and west and the least to the south. The opening windows provide 70 percent of the natural ventilation to the floor so that the user has full control over his own environment. A two-storey bicycle centre provides space for almost 300 bicycles in the basement. The development has been rated with EPC A, BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum.

GU solution: Special hardware for porthole-shaped windows.

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