Waugh Thistleton Architects

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6 Orsman Road 1
6 Orsman Road 2
6 Orsman Road 3
6 Orsman Road 4
6 Orsman Road 5

Location

Hackney, London

Status

Construction
2020

Client

British Land

Budget

undisclosed

RIBA workstages

Concept to Completion

This six storey cross laminated timber hybrid office explores the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle. This innovative hybrid structure combines CLT and steel to maximise spans and minimise the number of internal columns, providing 34,000 sq. ft of office space with a completely flexible interior; and makes an iconic addition to the Regents Canal skyline.

APPROACH

The driving principle of the design was zero waste construction, and the building can ultimately be demounted. Every element of the construction has been considered to ensure as much as possible can be reused or recycled once the building reaches the end of its useful life. The structure is bolted together and applied elements such as SIP panels, cladding, timber decking, steel balustrades etc, can all be detached and reused.

The honest interiors have been designed to avoid unnecessary materials. The CLT is left exposed, and where finishes were required natural materials such as clay plaster and linoleum tiles have been used. Offcuts from the CLT structure have even been repurposed as furniture. A natural colour palette of earthy tones and natural textures complements the timber and reinforces the connection to nature.

DESIGN

The building is stepped over six storeys preserving views down Orsman Road and creating large terraces which overlook the canal to the north and the city to the south. Deep-set, ribbon windows on the south facade minimise solar gain and the white panelised cladding give a definite Bauhaus flavour to this, a paradigm for 21st Century modernism. 

With no internal load bearing walls and minimal internal columns the building has a completely flexible interior. A demountable partition system has been used throughout, meaning that the office space can effectively be reconfigured overnight as needs change.

Result

Designed for its users the building facilitates a high level of personalisation, giving occupants autonomy to author their own working environment. The flexible partition system provides the opportunity to grow, contract or reconfigure space as business dictates, and the high performing ventilation system, opening windows and balcony doors ensure individuals have a high level of control over their workspace, and the ability to curate it to meet their needs.

By designing the 6 Orsman with a completely adaptable layout that can accommodate a diversity of uses and occupiers, we have ensured its longevity and created a space which can withstand change and demand. A sustainable building in the true meaning of the word.