Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Phoenix High School

Bond Bryan Architects’ design for the new £8.7m sixth form centre at Phoenix High School in Shepherds Bush, London is thought to be Europe’s largest cantilevered building, with almost half of the building extending over an existing car park. The project has been granted planning permission by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Nick Rogers, project leader at Bond Bryan, explained how this 24-metre cantilever will be achieved: ‘Having such a huge cantilever compared to the ground floor structure places a tremendous loading on the building connected to ground but this is resolved by cross-bracing the floors and transferring the force back and down into cantilever and into the building pinned to the floor.

‘We believe it is the largest cantilever in Europe. The columns securing the ground floor building are driven 35 metres into the ground which serve to resist the uplift force generated by the cantilever.

‘The cantilever also creates a potential for flexibility within the structure, this is counteracted by ensuring the 400mm-thick external walls and precast floor system combine to form a very stiff box structure.’

The external cladding comprises vertical timber panels of varying sizes, repeated at random intervals and framed with subtle colours. The resulting elevations are likened to a collection of liquorice allsorts.

The building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’. Subject to funding, construction of the new sixth form centre is due to start in August this year and it will open to pupils in September 2010.