Portobello Dock
Portobello Dock London W10 Developer Derwent London Architect Stiff+Trevillion Engineering Arup Project Management HHY Derwent London purchased the sitein 2004 from EMI. It was previously the Headquarters of Virgin Records. The site straddles the Grand Union Canal, and is a mixed use development. The site is Grade 2 listed and was a Victorian refuse transfer depot. The Canal Building replaces a poor quality and badly altered two storey building on the western edge of the site liberated a trapezoid piece of land that accommodates the new six storey office building. The new building is free standing but closely engaged with the industrial history that surrounds it. The canal basin, boundary wall and footbridge to the towpath constrain its footprint and inform its base. The slope of the bridge footing buries the western edge of the ground floor. Conceptually the plan was derived by placing the core on the southern side of the building, adjacent to the main entrance, and acting as a solar buffer by reducing heat gain to the office space and allowing the office plates to enjoy the canal views and have windows to four sides. The building refers Max Fry�s Kensal House on Ladbroke Grove a very early example of international style social housing in the UK, similarly the white stucco of The White Building across the canal lead us to explore the possibility of using white architecture and walls with windows as an aesthetic for this important site. This is a building that has a base a middle and a top. A two storey colonnade defines the base of the building and follows the footprint of the basin. The next three floors are seen as a horizontal element with windows arranged to emphasise the idea that the building is a fully elevated object. The top floor is taller set back and steel framed. It is a lantern with external terraces to all sides. The core is a sculpturally solid and vertical element that contains the circulation and wet services. The building has an insitu concrete frame and is Sto rendered. The windows are a light bronze anodised finish and are openable with parallel vents. Cooling and ventilation is provided by a displacement under floor system. Solar panels provide the hot water. Portobello Lofts The steel framed offices constructed in the 1980s to the eastern end of the site, were unsuited to modern office use. However by removing the roof and top floor and replacing them with a two storey extension we were able to create twelve apartments. By reworking the brick clad elevations we have been able to incorporate balconies and full height glazing. The two new floors accommodate three penthouses with large terraces and views to the canal and the city beyond. The brick architecture of the original has been radically simplified, and contrasting render panels give the building a new aesthetic that is identifiably residential in spirit. This contrasts with the white architecture of the Canal Building. Stiff+Trevillion Architects July 08


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Building Activity

  • added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com