The 32,400m2 Stratosphere project comprises 342 homes across two new buildings following an original concept by Allies and Morrison
An 11-storey brick-clad building together with a 36-storey glazed tower comprise the Stratosphere project, which also features retail and office accommodation. The taller tower includes a gym, rooftop garden and 35th floor residents’ lounge.
A podium structure connects the two buildings at ground level and provides access to both residential cores. Retail frontage is designed to connect the scheme with surrounding public space and to make the ground floor ‘as active as possible’. An off-site construction technique was used for the modular facade elements.
As post-planning architect Stockwool designed the project following an original concept by Allies and Morrison. The scheme replaces a brownfield site and was completed for client Telford Homes.
With a heavily constrained location next to Stratford station and almost full site coverage, offsite construction methods were considered from the outset for the two contrasting buildings in this development.
Telford Homes had successfully delivered a number of previous schemes with fully unitised facades, and this methodology perfectly suited the rigour of the Allies and Morrison design for the tower. Apart from special corner modules with a glass-to-glass detail, all façade panels on the tower were based on a 900mm module and manufactured as either single, double or triple width units. The overlaid façade of projecting shelves at floor level, with cylindrical connecting rods creating a secondary rhythm to the building, was more challenging to deliver as part of the unitised system. However Stockwool worked closely with the unitised contractor and managed to develop a solution that integrated the secondary elements with the primary modular façade panels, negating the need for external access for installation.
The contrasting brick-clad building is characterised by large, repetitive openings and deep reveals, which would require complex masonry support systems to deliver using traditional construction on site. The approach adopted was therefore to panelise the façade and to cast the bricks onto precast concrete panels of site – these finished panels were then hung off the in-situ concrete frame on site.
The construction methods adopted meant that both buildings were delivered without the need for scaffolding, and with a finish quality that would have been extremely difficult to match using site-based façade construction.
Derek Jay, partner, Stockwool
3281 pl 202 p
Start on site November 2014
Completion July 2018
Gross internal floor area 32,400m²
Form of contract Developer construction (Telford Homes placed and managed individual trade sub-contracts)
Construction cost £45 million
Construction cost per m2 £1,400 approximately
Post-planning architect Stockwool
Pre-planning architect Allies and Morrison
Client Telford Homes
Structural engineer PTA
M&E consultant Silcock Dawson
QS Telford Homes in house
Landscape consultant Standerwick Land Design
Acoustic consultant Cass Allen
CDM coordinator MG Health and Safety
Approved building inspector NHBC
Main contractor Telford Homes
CAD software used Archicad