Chiswick Park is located on a brownfield industrial site (formerly a bus works) and is largely dependent on public transport. When complete, 75 per cent of those working there will arrive either on foot, or by bicycle, bus or train. The spectacular green parkland forming the heart of the site is public space, open to all and includes an open-air performance area, a lake and nature reserve.
The 33-acre site is located off Chiswick High Road in west London, close to Gunnersbury underground station. When complete, the project will offer c.140,000 square metres of office space spread between twelve buildings, plus restaurant and bar, swimming pool and fitness centre. Six four-storey buildings have so far been completed and subsequent phases will include a mix of five, nine and 12 storeys.
The project reflects the conviction of developer Stanhope that high quality can be achieved using standardised components and construction management procurement.
The aim was to produce a development that is highly distinctive and yet buildable within commercial constraints. The office buildings contain highly flexible space that can be configured in open plan or cellular form.
The clarity of the plan - a central core surrounded by uninterrupted 18 m deep office plates - is assisted by external escape stairs which contribute to the scheme's distinctive identity. Central atria give views out into the landscaped park and bring light into the heart of each building. The energy strategy includes fixed external aluminium louvres and retractable external fabric blinds activated by light sensors which together shade 90 percent of the buildings' surfaces. This significant reduction of solar gain makes possible the use of a displacement ventilation system - Chiswick Park's energy efficiency will result in low running costs in the long term.
The Chiswick Park site is a landlocked urban island, bounded by rail links to the east and north, with a number of residential enclaves to the west. However its location is as global as it is local – central London is only five miles away, Heathrow airport eight miles away, rail, underground and bus networks surround the site and access by car is available on the nearby motorways.
The key feature of the development is the spectacular parkland at the heart of the site, which is open at all times to members of the public.
The design strategy included a flexible approach to possible tenancy types – each office floor is able to operate as a single tenancy or as up to four independent tenancies.
The central public space forms the focus of the design, with each of the building's dramatic canopied entrances opening onto the gardens, and with all office floors enjoying views out over the landscape.
Passive environmental strategies include retractable fabric blinds and fixed louvres to shade the facades, natural ventilation as well as an air displacement system for heating and cooling and, all contributing to a significant reduction in the need for air-conditioning, and contributing to a high level of comfort in the offices.
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