Reusing structures in this way doesn’t mean compromising on the finished product. The design team were determined to solve the problems inherent in the existing building. As well as an underused basement and ground floor retail that wasn’t well connected to either the street or the tube station, the office space was outdated with confusing entrances and inefficient layouts. This was solved by cutting and carving the structure to reconfigure the core and provide a central point of access.
Tom Smithers, Property Director at AshbyCapital, commented: “With the built environment contributing about 40% of the UK’s carbon footprint, it’s imperative that investors and developers look beyond the operational carbon footprint of their buildings to the emissions produced in the construction process and embodied carbon. Working with WSP to reuse and repurpose as much of the previous building as possible, we have reduced embodied carbon at The Kensington Building by 30% compared to a typical new-build office, proving that the construction of new office buildings doesn’t have to be environmentally damaging.”
For our team, the added challenge was designing these interventions while meeting the architect’s vision for the existing and new structure to be exposed with carefully coordinated services on show. With the plates and bolts joining old structure to new visible for all to see, this is a building that celebrates its story of reuse and adaptation. It’s proud of the benefits that reusing existing structures can bring – for occupants, the community, the client and the environment. And it points the way to a future where marrying old and new to create reused, repurposed low-carbon buildings is commonplace.
List of services WSP provided:
- Structural Engineering
- Fire Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Vertical Transportation Engineering Energy and Sustainability
- Façade Engineering
- Façade Access Engineering Transport and Development Acoustics