The concept for the building was based on a low ‘wing’ shaped roof, which hovers in the landscape. The ‘wing’ curves in two directions – from front to back and radialy. The plan of the building is fan shaped, made up of 7 ‘fingers’. Pairs of 200x700mm deep Glulam beams form the skeleton of the roof ‘Wing’. The beams fan at regular intervals and run from outside to inside and out again to create each of the 7 ‘fingers’.
Space, light, use of materials, the clear legibility of construction and simple circulation all form part of the architectural response that bring together many natural and sustainable building elements to provide a highly serviced and sophisticated building solution.
Green Oak, Kalwall and Zinn have all been used as cladding materials. The roof is clad in pre- oxidised copper; five 4500mm-diameter openings are punched through the roof deck to take the ETFE inflatable roof-lights.
The integration of the building within the site and its relationship with the surrounding landscape were important considerations. The journey to reach the building and the arrival at the entrance and reception play a key role in introducing the language and palate of materials that have been used throughout.
The use of natural light within the building, the visual communication between teams and departments and the sense of space with views internally and externally given to the occupants all add to generate a thriving sense of activity and commerce under the ‘wing’ of the roof canopy.