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Merchant Square. London. UK

Client
European Land & Property
Sector
Buildings
Services
Building Construction Support ServicesModular Manufacturing
Duration
2007-2010
Project partners
Mossessian & partners, WSP Cantor Seinuk, Norman Disney & Young, Scheldebouw

Merchant Square. London. UK

Merchant Square. London. UK

Merchant Square. London. UK

Merchant Square. London. UK

Full project details

Three distinctive triangular interlocking blocks create a spectacular centrepiece to the Paddington Basin waterfront development.

Laing O'Rourke was selected as principal contractor for the design and build of this signature office building. The project was delivered through our integrated services offer, utilising our in-house companies Expanded, Crown House Technologies, Vetter and Select. This one-team approach enabled us to successfully deliver via a constrained site, on programme and on budget.

Big, flexible floorplates and an iconic design 

Its sophisticated sculpted form aimed to reduce the apparent mass of the building, promote canalside pedestrian flow and open up views within the site and beyond (such as a church north of the elevated Westway). The 14 storeys of grade A office space are accessed via a double-height lobby that serves shops, cafes and restaurants as well as the office reception; a dramatic, grooved black granite feature wall signals the transition. Beyond is a soaring 15-storey atrium clad on three sides with screenprinted frit glass -  embodiment of the key conceptual design themes of transparency and visual illusion. 

Design and construction

The building was constructed with a structural steel frame, reinforced concrete cores and fully unitised aluminium framed curtain wall system. Works began with a technically demanding double-basement (plus swimming pool) excavated immediately alongside the Grand Union Canal. In total 21,500m2 of cladding, including the pitched roofs and internal atrium walls, were installed. The different slopes of each wall meant that many difficult corner connections had to be made. The external terraces are another innovative design feature, creating communal spaces rather than hierarchical corner offices. 

Facade and environment

Across parts of the facade aluminium boxes cantilever 500mm out from the glass curtain wall, not only providing extra storage space inside but also reducing the quota of glazing by 40% to help meet the latest energy regulations and, in turn, contributing to excellent green credentials. A combined heat and power plant (CHP) will produce up to 20% of the energy requirements for the entire building.

Project facts

A signature office building delivered on a constrained site, to programme and on budget

771,386 man hours worked without a reportable accident

Integrated 'oneteam' delivery from Laing O'Rourke companies

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