“You can tell when you walk into our office what it means to work here. The move here would make a fascinating business - sociological case study because it really did reinforce what you can do with the right working environment.”
Tim Richards, CEO & Founder, Vue Entertainment.
A spectacular parkland forms the heart of Chiswick Park and it is a public space (open to all) that includes a performance area, a lake and nature reserve. The award winning project offers 185,000m² of office space spread across 12 buildings, including a restaurant and bar.
The buildings at Chiswick are standardised, using off-site construction technology, securing economies of time and cost. The project reflects the conviction of developer Stanhope that high quality can be achieved using standardised components and construction management procurement. The office buildings contain highly flexible space that can be configured in open plan or cellular form. Central atria give views out into the landscaped park and bring light into the centre of each building.
Chiswick Park has been listed each year since 2007 year in the UK’s 50 Best Workplaces and this is a reflection of the ethos of Enjoy-Work, the company that manages the site. They believe that “if you enjoy work, you do better work” and this matches the beliefs of the architects.
The RSHP masterplan consists of twelve buildings with a total of 1.4 million square feet of office space, as well as parking for 1,700 cars, a health club, swimming pool, and brasserie-cafe set within a landscaped public space complete with open-air performance space and pond.
These facilities are designed to enhance the work-life balance of the occupants, supporting the concept of social sustainability. The buildings, arranged around the perimeter of the site enjoy views over the park with its central lake with three metre high waterfall, bridge and boardwalks, and extensive soft landscaped areas.
Each building at Chiswick Park is standardised taking advantage of off-site construction technology to maximise time and cost benefits. This approach reflects Stanhope’s conviction that a very high quality, distinctive and flexible development can be achieved using standardised components and built to conform to tight commercial constraints. To this end, the office buildings contain highly flexible space that can be configured in open plan or cellular form. Each floor plate can also be let as a single tenancy or as multiple tenancies split into divisions of two, three or four separate, fully independent tenancies.
The key feature of the development is the spectacular parkland forming the heart of the site. The focal point of the park is a large lake, with a canopied timber boardwalk from which the entrance to each building is arranged.
The landscape is divided into an ‘inner garden’ and outer landscape areas, the former is highly detailed, while the latter is a softer, informal zone providing a park-like backdrop of native planting where green ‘fingers’ extend between the buildings, through to the perimeter car parks.
Chiswick Park has been developed as a place favouring people rather than vehicles. Designed for pedestrian priority (75 percent of those working at Chiswick Park arrive on foot, by bicycle, bus or train), all vehicular activity is routed around the edge of the site, to screened carparks or undercrofts beneath the buildings.
The design for each building is developed as ‘served’ and ‘servant’ space, in which a central core (servant) is surrounded by uninterrupted three metre-high floor to ceiling office floors (served), assisted by external escape stairs which contribute to the distinctive identity of the scheme. Full height, glazed central atria provide views out into the park and bring natural light into the office space. The depth of each building varies, as determined by the masterplan, resulting in a variety of building sizes and contributing to the richness of the scheme as a whole.
The facades are fully glazed to maximise views and daylight, and enclose large, unobstructed office spaces. The comprehensive energy strategy includes fixed external sunshades in the form of a canopy of louvres at roof level as well as retractable fabric blinds on the east and west facades that are operated automatically via roof-mounted light sensors. Together, these shade 90 percent of the building’s surfaces, and together with a displacement heating and cooling system and the extensive use of natural ventilation, significantly reduce the requirement for air-conditioning.
The client and RRP benefited from a series of workshop discussions with engineers and specialist contractors at the outset of the project, resulting in an innovative structural system. This process also lent a level of assurance and set benchmark quality standards for assessing the performance of contractors that was closely monitored by the project management team and RRP.
Designed and built in a number of phases, the project was able to respond to changing economic conditions and progress as market forces dictated. The first phase was made up of six four-storey buildings, with subsequent phases made up of a mix of five, nine and twelve-storey high buildings added to complete the development.
The primary structure is comprised of a concrete frame and a single steel core, with stability provided by steel bracing. The main floor plates from ground to roof level are of in-situ, post-tensioned concrete, with columns of pre-cast reinforced concrete. The core structure comprises composite steel and concrete floor plates, steel columns and steel bracing. The external steelwork is a lightweight tubular structure, in which all tube-end connections are created using sand-cast steel elements with flexible pin-connections.
The perimeter steelwork comprises tubular steel elements spanning between the main concrete frame and slender columns spaced six and nine metres away from the side and front facades respectively. This steelwork supports a number of elements including high-level aluminium anodised louvres, maintenance walkways and escape stairs suspended by high-tensioned cables tied back to the primary structure. The distinctive entrance canopy to each of the phase 1 and 2 buildings is supported by twin bow-string trusses, each spanning 24 metres and centrally braced with high-tension cable-stays.
The buildings are serviced vertically through the central core which includes the provision for goods and passenger lifts, internal stair and WCs, and horizontally through the raised floor and the services zone below the concrete slabs which provide facilities for IT and electrical risers and building monitoring systems. Plant is located both on the roofs and principle services located in the undercroft areas.
Elena Arzua Tourino
Marian San Emeterio
ClientStanhope Plc / Blackstone
Gross Floor Area
EC Harris / Mott Green & Wall
W8 Landscape Architects and Urban Planners / Charles Funke Associates
Jones Lang La Salle & PDF Savills
David Bonnet Associates