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|Location:||Heathrow, United Kingdom|
|Awards:||Structural Steel Design Award|
Financial Times Award
Bedfont Lakes transforms a wasteland of former gravel pits to create new office facilities within a parkland setting in west London.
Unlike the pavilion-like buildings found at nearby Stockley Park, Bedfont Lakes creates a more urban density by organising development around a single square on a similar scale to that of Berkeley Square in the West End of London. Around the square are three-storey, air-conditioned office buildings with 18-metre deep plans, surrounding a triple-level sunken car park.
As well as the masterplan, Hopkins designed three buildings at the northern end of the square for occupation by IBM, which was co-developer of the project. Each has an exposed steel frame that incorporates the use of a new standard casting to connect columns and beams. Created especially for the project, this casting is able to accommodate different sizes of columns at different levels. The frame is infilled with glass and grey-painted aluminium panels with fixed external louvres.
The largest of the three buildings is located at the end of the square. Here, the plan is wrapped around a central atrium. This three-storey space is sheltered by a membrane of clear glass suspended from a lattice-steel structure spanning across the atrium. Above the glass, fabric is stretched between the trusses to give shading from the sun. The floor area is divided into two zones of restaurant and demonstration area by a steel and glass arrangement of bridges, lift shafts and stairs in the centre of the atrium. Offices on the surrounding upper levels are glazed onto the atrium.
Hopkins was also responsible for the detailed design of the car park, which is designed as twin ellipses surrounded by trees at ground floor level, with light wells bringing natural light into the lower levels. The remaining three buildings were designed by other practices in accordance with the masterplan.