The centre of Hammersmith enjoys superb tube and bus links to Central London and west towards Heathrow Airport and the Thames Valley beyond. In recent years, however, it has suffered from a lack of commercial development and has been overlooked by prospective tenants, who would bring life and money to the area. The ageing office stock and lack of Grade A space with large open floor plates has hampered the regeneration of the town centre.
The development of the NCP site will see the delivery of 35,000 sq m (GEA) of high quality office space which will make a significant contribution to the long awaited regeneration process. Two buildings of nine and eleven storeys will house office space above ground level. Restaurant/café space occupies the ground level, spilling onto the south-facing landscaped public realm and helping to deliver a new dynamic public environment.
Given the central location of the site, car parking is limited to 10 cars, and cycle parking provision is exceptional, with 250 secure spaces located close to the building. Showers, lockers and drying rooms are provided on the ground floor, facilitating use of the building by cyclists and runners. Large, flexible office floor plates on upper floors have centralised cores, which maximise the potential for daylight penetration into the buildings, and views out. Landscaped terraces on upper floors enjoy southerly views towards the river and park lands beyond.
The buildings are designed to respond to their surroundings and step in height from a lower scale in the south on Beadon Road to a larger scale along Hammersmith Grove where the scale of existing commercial properties increases. Recognising that there is no obvious single architectural style in Hammersmith, the cool glass building envelope seeks to reflect the existing buildings and mature trees, as well as the sky at upper levels. Night time lighting ensures that the perception of the building is constantly changing.
The design approach to the envelope has been to improve thermal performance by using the latest glass coating and fritting technology to exceed the requirements of Part L 2010. The seamless skin reflects and cloaks the building in an elegant crystalline sheath. The metal edged glass blades change orientation to respond to the line of the street, and the use of fritting of different intensities within the glass build up introduces an order and complexity to the street frontages, thereby reducing the impact of random internal office layouts and clutter, whilst maintaining transparency and three dimensional depth. As well as an efficient envelope, the use of highly effective M&E equipment and roof-mounted solar panels will contribute to the sustainable credentials of the scheme.