The relationship between people and their workplace has been transformed by the development of digital technologies which enable working remotely. However, physical and social collaboration remains at the heart of creative knowledge-sharing that builds value for many organizations. The modern office is as relevant as ever, providing a flexible and a stimulating environment.
Connectivity with public transport is vital and prime commercial developments can occupy constrained inner city sites adjacent to, or even above, transportation infrastructure. Nova Victoria and 21 Moorfields, London are good examples with Nova forming part of the Victoria LUL upgrade works and future access from the planned Crossrail line. 21 Moorfields sits above Moorgate station with architectural expression given to the braced arch structural form that spans 55m over the platforms. Piled foundations up to 2.4m diameter are installed within the existing retained station masonry.
Mixed-use developments are increasingly common with commercial functions integrating with ground plane retail and upper level residential or hotel functions. Recent examples include 10 Broadway, Victoria, which vertically stacks retail, office and residential above a common basement with column grid transitions to follow function. King Street Wharf in Sydney is a mixed-use harbourfront development that incorporated transport connections via road, coach and ferry into the overall commercial precinct.
For some technical spaces, such as trading floors, large spans are a prerequisite for uninterrupted function with control of floor dynamics and careful integration of structure-services equally important. 100 Bishopsgate is at the heart of London’s trading district and features spans up to 23m in structural steel with integrated services within the structural depth. 1 Carrington Street in Sydney spans over retail and major rail concourses in the heart of the CBD, and adopts a long-span floor design with central core and perimeter columns generating maximum column-free space.
For more routine functions, a more modest grid is recommended. The opportunity to omit ceilings and expose the structure to provide passive thermal storage can improve comfort and reduce energy use. This requires an integrated approach across all disciplines.
Some developments also celebrate their civic presence with publicly accessible plaza or atria – perhaps integrating with street level retail. ICD Brookfield, Dubai is a 60 storey tower with an elegantly expressed primary structure that creates a dramatic lobby and public realm. KL118 is a super-tall building that represents its owner’s ambition and the city’s economic status. Riparian Plaza in Brisbane – Harry Seidler’s last major tower – retains a publicly-accessible ground plane whilst integrating riverfront retail, and a mixed-use commercial and residential tower above.
Combination Of Expertise
All of our projects benefit greatly from the combination of our structural engineering design and construction engineering expertise. This integrated approach to design and construction methodology streamlines the design, procurement and construction processes and leads to benefits in cost and time whilst mitigating project and construction risks. The benefit of this approach is demonstrated in all of the linked projects. Inner city basement design is a further area that benefits from this approach when in collaboration with the geotechnical engineer the ground movements need to be carefully controlled throughout the construction sequencing to mitigate risk to adjacent 3rd party assets.
RBG provides a full range of structural, civil and construction engineering services from site evaluations and concept design through to detailed production information and construction methodology. For UK projects we also provide geotechnical engineering services.