projects /

Duncan House

Location

Stratford, London

Client

Watkin Jones

Architect

Hodder & Partners

Completion

August 2019

Project Summary & Objective

Duncan House is a 32-storey mixed-use, high-rise development consisting of 511 student beds, 44 residential apartments, 3150 sqm of academic space and 688 sqm of artist’s studios. This diverse addition to London’s skyline includes underground car parking, level access courtyard, cycle spaces, roof gardens, social space and a sky lounge.

Key Challenges

The main challenges for the structural design of the scheme were achieving the height of the building whilst ensuring lateral stability and limiting dynamic response of the tower. There was also a late change in construction to precast columns in place of in-situ which had to be accommodated to achieve the programme deadline.

The foundation solution also presented a challenge as the site had been developed previously and there were numerous obstructions below ground including existing piles, works associated with the diverted Channelsea River and an abandoned culvert which was in close proximity to the crane base.

There was also a requirement to maintain structural separation between the three different demises of the scheme (academic, student and residential).

The crane scheme was also a challenging aspect of the build as two tower cranes at approx. 100m height were required to be free-standing, which imposed significant loads on the foundation.

Solution

The design solution for the tower was an in-situ concrete core which provided lateral stability and resistance to wind load.

The piled foundations were designed to span over the existing below ground obstructions where possible, and the structural separation was achieved using cantilevered foundations at the demise boundaries.

The crane challenges were overcome by incorporating the tower crane bases into the main raft foundation. At 1.5m thick this created a significant mass which could be mobilized to prevent overturning of the base in the temporary condition.

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