Phases 2 and 3 of the redevelopment of Arup’s headquarters replace two 1960s buildings to provide five levels of offices and associated meeting rooms, reception, café, library, conference and exhibition space. This supplements Phase 1, also by Sheppard Robson.
The building is designed around a central, full-height, open atrium, providing natural daylight to varying depthsof floor plates and enabling interaction and connectivity through the building. The design of the atrium was only possible through developing a bespoke horizontal retractable fire curtain at alternate floor levels, maximising the views of a full-height feature glass wall by Alex Beleschenko. The folding
planes expressed in the façade help break up the long street elevations and draw pedestrians towards the main entrances, further emphasised by an angled, solid canopy that works in tandem with these
The façade design was driven by performance criteria imposed by the choice of active chilled beams as the air conditioning system, requiring an average of 50% of the façade to be insulated. The resultant patterning provides interest, animation and variety to the main street
views. The design adopts an order dictated by the repetition of a helical DNA strand wrapped around the entire perimeter; this same concept is expressed on the textured patterning to the atrium feature glass wall.