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Apartment building, Timber Wharf, Manchester Glenn Howells Architects

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working details

A structure of precast concrete crosswalls, fin walls and balconies The building houses apartments, stacked up ninestoreys high on the long east and west sides, with access via a central corridor. The glazed facades have sliding doors which open out to balconies.

Basement and podium are of cast in situ concrete. Upper floors have precast concrete crosswalls. They are 175mm thick to achieve satisfactory acoustic performance, and of standard 'grey'concrete with a high-quality finish so that additional layers and coatings were not needed. The crosswalls were cast vertically in a battery mould and propped on site before being stabilised by a series of precambered precast concrete floor planks. They were connected with cast in situ stitched joints.

The precast edge beam and balcony to each flat is separated from adjoining flats by precast concrete 'fin' walls. They were cast in glass fibre-lined timber moulds with a mix of white cement and Ballidon aggregate with an acid-etched finish.

The fin walls and crosswalls were craned into position and secured with cast in situ stitched joints. The jambs and sills of the double-glazed sliding doors were positioned against the horizontal and vertical thermal breaks so that the dpcs could be dressed into them.

Each fin wall was cast with an integral 50mm-diameter PVC downpipe connected to an outlet, together with recesses for light fittings and for handrail fixing brackets.

The balustrade, panels of 12mm toughened glass, is topped with an epoxy-coated steel handrail. The panels are clamped into a steel shoe which is bolted into a recess cast in the precast balcony unit.

The floors were waterproofed with a dpm and overlaid with iroko timber planks on a treated timber frame.

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