20 Years Ago: The Pavilions, Uxbridge Town Centre

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20 Years Ago The original Town Centre perimeter loads. Their location Development was completed rather far from the sides is in 1973 and comprised of over governed by the arrangement of 50,000m2 of retail space, open service roads in the basement, but precincts, offices, flats and car their effectiveness is enhanced parking. The shopping centre at by the umbrella-like form of the street level was arranged ariound roofs. two parrallel open malls leading Canopies to the malls were from the high street to open analysed using simple plane frame squares linked with covered methods. Three dimensional walkways. A basement below had analyses were adopted for the service roads and loading bays for entrances and squares in order the shops. to assess the in-plane forces By the early 1980s the shop generated and in particular to units were considered to be find the correct distribution of too small and the environment reaction forces. of windy spaces and stained The malls and entrances have concrete increasingly unpopular. conventional aluminium mullions It was becoming clear that the spanning on to steel lattice retail facilities would have to be purlins, in turn supported by improved of the centre was to rafter frames. The two squares compete with other projects in the have light aluminium mullions area and a major refurbishment bearing through insulation pads project was comissioned in 1984. on to steel sub frames supported The main construction began in by a system of steel lattice purlins 1986, phased to allow market and rafters. The steel sub frames trading to continue throughout in the squares have two functions; the contract period, and largely visually they form comparatively completed in 1988. The formal slender supports to the glazing opening was in September 1989. (with due allowance for relative The work covers all the public thermal movement), they also areas and includes new formal provide lateral restraint to the entrances from the High Street, purlins. glazed canopies over the malls The main components of and squares, new fascias to the roofs were designed to be the shops, lighting, toilets, and transported and erected as single many of the shops enlarged by pieces and all the joints pinned extending forwards yo to 4m. or bolted. The only exceptions Open spaces are retiled in patterns were the long hip rafters and the of white and black terrazzo relatively heavy bridge beams and the squares decorated with where site welded joints were ornamental trees. A new tower introduced. in the Market Square painted in The pleasant new spaces trompe d’oeil houses a smoke created bear little resemblance extract shaft and lifts to ligh level to what had become a drab and bridges linking to a multi-storey unattractive place. The centre car park. is popular with the public and The Pavilions – and malls, and pyramids over steelwork has contributed to thisfrom a commercial point of viewit is very successful. The scheme issubmitted as an example of howSimple forms were chosen forthe geometry of the new roofs,pitched along the entrances Uxbridge Town Centre insulation, relieved at the top Structural Steelwork has made a majoreffect.Judge’s commentsthe squares. The coverings arepredominantly double glazingwith an inner layer of translucent For Prudential Assurance Co Ltd ventilation is natural, only in in the 1960s. The careful incorporationcontribution to the rehabilitation of anoutdated town centre scheme constructedwith areas of clear glass andspaces for smoke vents. General the food court is there limited of environmental services has enabled mechanical recycling of air. The the new roofs over the squares and effect is of a bright, spacious and pedestrian malls to present a strikingly temperate environment. clean and effective appearance. Great The elegance of the roof was care has been taken over the design and always an important and integral fabrication, and the erection was acrried part of the new design concept. out while the premises continued in use. This coupled with the constraints This is a worthy example of how of the load carrying capacity of effectively steelwork can contribute the original building, economy, to a growing need for updating such erectability and least disruption developments which need a new lease of to trading below led to the life. choice of steel for the new roof structures. Architects: The critical detail at the Fitch Benoy (Part of Fitch RS Plc) interface between the new roofs Structural Engineers: and the original buildings has Michael Barclay Partnerships to support the roof, allowing Steelwork Contractor: for relative movements, and Bright and White Ltd collection of rainwater. Internal Main Contractor: columns in the square relieve the Henry Boot Southern Limited 36 October 10NSC


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