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tomorrow's buildings

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In the first of a two-part review of new projects currently on the drawing board or on site, we focus on commercial and sports and leisure projects. Next week, we will look at residential, cultural, civic and educational schemes. The range of work submitt


The administration building for B Braun AG is an extension to the company's new headquarters building in Melsungen. The first phase was completed by architect James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates, in association with Walter Nageli in 1992. The new triangular building continues the masterplan strategy of articulating each building in the man-made landscape to avoid the monotony of a large monolithic industrial complex. The building is organised around a glass roofed light-court which extends through all six levels. On the north side of the court are two lifts and staircases; the base of the court is connected by a steel bridge/exhibition gallery to the entrance foyer of the existing building. The client is GELIMERVerwaltungsgesellschaft; the cost is £7.8 million.

Completion is scheduled for July.


Spectrum House is a 1960s office building in Glasgow. The overcapacity in the original frame and foundations made it possible to extend the edges of the existing floors to provide approximately 7000m 2of fully serviced floor space.

The south-facing street facade is to be fully glazed. The entrance is marked by a polished stainless steel stairtower rising up the left hand side of the building and the right hand side is a service wall with air exhausted from the floors in continuous strips of louvres integrated within grids with terracotta tile infills. The engineer (structural and M&E) is Blythe and Blythe and the quantity surveyor is Thomas and Adamson.


Amsterdam's world trade centre is located between Schipol's world trade centre and the old city centre. Kohn Pedersen Fox is about to re-clad four of the existing tall office buildings, make a big office tower of their own and link all five buildings with a high-level roof and walkway with a floating roof of glass.Underneath on the ground the architect will create a range of temporary buildings containing offices, shops and public spaces.


This 3000m 2office is in the last group of buildings to go up at Edinburgh Park, masterplanned by Richard Meier. It's a £4.5 million spec building designed to accommodate a variety of potential tenants. The main accommodation is a three-storey box with a row of supporting columns down the centre and the services core occupying one bay. The elevations are enlivened with vertical and horizontal strip windows and the 'front' roof projects, forming a kind of canopy. Free-standing outside the line of the service core is a 16m-high slate-clad wall which encloses a triple-height entrance hall and the stairs.The quantity surveyor is Doig and Smith, the engineer is Halcrow Waterman, and the M&E engineer is Graham Mather Associates.


The Ayre Mercedes Benz showroom was in a 1970s brick-clad portal frame building and the dealer wanted to upgrade and extend it. Garrick & McCormack has produced a minimalist design which extends the portal frame all the way along the long glazed frontage. At the left-hand side is a plane of blue rising behind the line of the elevation with a corporate logo indicating the entrance. Internally there is a anew strip of roof glazing which has the effect of making the ceiling float above the rest of the structure. There is also a cafe and an audio-visual presentation area.Alastair Campbell is the structural engineer.


More than a little reminiscent of a built 1970s prototype for Milton Keynes by Pierre Botschi (actually a prefabricated single-storey housing pod) this is BDP's idea of an office module for BT's Adastral Park at Martlesham in Suffolk. It has been designed to 'minimise on site assembly and 'plug in''. Each factory-made element is two-storey and 13.5m wide with three of them making up a 54m long module. The planning grid is 1.5m 2.The first example, to be built in September, will have office, laboratory and meeting space on the ground floor with a display of 'untethered' office technology on the first. Engineering is by BDP's own structural division and Capita M&E.The quantity surveyor is Currie and Brown.


River City Prague is located on a 6ha site in Karlin. The first phase is two 25,000m 2spec offices which have planning permission plus a 200-room hotel and 100-flat 'apart-hotel'. Although they are different in shape the offices follow a pattern of a large glazed atrium wrapped round by three sides of office space. The solid ends are penetrated by arrays of narrow windows rather like bar codes. The structural engineer is RECOG, the M&E engineer is Battle McCarthy and the quantity surveyor is Homola AYH .


Recently submitted for planning approval is this project for a site by a pond at Moor Lane, Worple, Weston-super-Mare.

The proposal will allow the general public to enjoy an area of natural beauty through careful landscaping, a provision of cantilevered leisure pavilions serving as weekend retreats, and a waterside tea room. The buildings will be primarily of timber and glass construction and will be as transparent as possible to ensure that they merge with the landscape. The scheme is intended to create a new and uplifting focal point in a rather bland residential area, and help generate a community spirit among local residents.

RMJM The Falkirk Wheel will link for the first time the canal systems of the west and east of Scotland, while providing a focus for the reinvigoration by British Waterways of the Forth & Clyde and the Union Canals.A new aqueduct and rotating barge-lifting mechanism will cope with the 24m height difference.

The Wheel will employ innovative technological solutions in the spirit of Scotland's rich engineering tradition and seeks to provide a landmark attraction for the indigenous population and tourists alike.

The attraction will provide diverse educational and leisure facilities. The visitor centre situated within the new basin will accommodate exhibition and audio -visual facilities, and offer views of the wheel mechanism in action. Morrison Construction is the client, while RMJM Scotland and Ove Arup are the chief consultants.


Two years ago Sheppard Robson won a limited competition to develop a prototype three star,100-bedroom hotel which involves a minimum of wet trades.

Seventy per cent of guests in this sector are business people and the architects thought that it was important to have floor-to-ceiling glazing, timber flooring, modular furniture and glass-lined bathrooms.There will be a colour lighthouse rather than an external sign and the typical public lounge becomes a 24 hour hub based on 'coffee house culture' The consulting engineer is Whitby Bird and the quantity surveyor is DLE.


Spring Gardens is a proposed specialised sports retail and leisure development for CLS Holdings, planned as part of an extensive urban regeneration strategy for London's South Bank. The building is made up of a series of themed 'worlds' which combine shopping and entertainment.

The scheme has recently been submitted for planning. Cyril Sweett is the quantity surveyor and Ove Arup & Partners is the engineer.


FaulknerBrowns'£10.25 million swimming pool and leisure centre at Horsham in West Sussex is located in a mature urban park. The swimming pool has an eight-lane 25m competition pool with a floating floor to provide variable depths. As many as 360 spectators can be accommodated.There is also a leisure pool, learner's pool and extensive outdoor water.The multiuser hall has facilities for regional gymnastics training, steam room, sauna and spa plus a creche and soft play area.


The £1.3 million Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick harbour is to be linked by remote cameras on the islands of the Firth of Forth which watch out for birds.The unusual warped surface roof is actually a reasonable response to the elongated tear drop plan although this is not necessarily evident in three dimensions. Because of the inimical marine environment, no ferrous materials are used externally and rarely internally. And pvc has also been eschewed on Green grounds in favour of copper. The building is, naturally, 'highly insulated'using blown cellulose fibre in the roof and jute and cellulose batts in the external walls.

Ventilation is natural except where electronic equipment has necessitated the introduction of forced ventilation.


This £115 million development for Romford town centre will have a gross internal floorspace in excess of 50,000m 2consisting of a hypermarket, leisure and entertainment facilities including a swimming pool and health club,16 screen cinema complex, retail, cafe and restaurant units and flexible office space. A petrol station, museum accommodation, a major new bus terminus, a disabled mobility centre and over 150 units of affordable and private housing are also proposed for the site. Surface parking and a multi-storey carpark will accommodate approximately 1700 cars. Stannifer Developments is the project manager, Roscoe Capita is the structural engineer, Kelly Taylor Associates is the mechanical and electrical engineer and Philip Cave Associates is the landscape architect.


An estimated £14.2 million Barn Elms Sports Ground development for the London Borough of Wandsworth will enhance and expand existing facilities in Barnes within a new masterplan. Ten new floodlit courts will be provided, plus a new sports centre and two synthetic hockey pitches.

New buildings are located to act as a series of pavilions and spectator stands for outdoor pitches. A two-storey indoor complex will contain an eightcourt sports hall, 60m sprint track, clinic, dance studio and other user and staff facilities.

Other new buildings include a pavilion, a two-storey boat house and a club house for anglers. The QS is the London Borough of Wandsworth, services engineer is Max Fordham & Partners, structural engineer Price & Myers; ivingston Eyre Associates is the landscape architect.The project is scheduled to finish in 2003.


Angus Council believed that the remnants of Arbroath Abbey called for a visitor and interpretation centre, and asked Simpson and Brown and several other practices to enter a limited competition for the £1.5 million project.

Simpson and Brown's winning design is located to the left of the west front and steps back in three layers, culminating in a shallow barrel vault whose clerestory looks over an existing wall into further remnants of the abbey structure. The roofs are to be covered with the Erisco-Bauder grass roof system. The structural engineer is Wren & Bell, the service engineer is Econsult and quantity surveyor is Hardies. The main contractor is Clachan Construction of Perth.


The Exchange is an £8 million project to partially refurbish and add to a redundant bus terminal in Stoke-on-Trent. The existing concrete framework is used as the basis of the new project, but is cut into or exploded to meet the requirements of the new use. The ground floor contains bowling alleys, retail space, and food areas, while a cinema is housed on the upper floors.

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