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SSDA Awards

Merit: 101 The Embankment, Salford

Although the original buildings and platforms are long gone, the Grade II listed sandstone façade and viaduct that once supported the long-gone Exchange Station have been retained to form a grand base for two commercial buildings.

The first of these two steel-framed structures to be built is known as 101 Embankment, and it offers 15,300m² of Grade A office space over 11 storeys. Beneath the development and situated within the retained viaduct there is a three-level steel-framed 442-space car park.

The roof of the car park or podium deck provided the design team with the project’s biggest challenge as Ramboll Design Engineer Allan Wilson explains: “Both of the office buildings will have a similar design that includes main columns set at 7.5m centres, which doesn’t match the car park grid below. This, combined with the larger column density in the core areas, led us to adopt transfer structures at this level to maximise parking spaces.”

The client requirement to maximise the number of car parking spaces did not permit the building cores to continue down through the podium structure. Therefore, steel-framed cores were adopted to minimise the loads onto the transfer structures, as they are significantly lighter than concrete cores.

Architect: Flanagan Lawrence
Structural engineer: Ramboll
Steelwork contractor: Elland Steel Structures Ltd
Client: Ask Real Estate
Encompassing an area around each of the building’s cores, which equates to approximately one third of their footprints, the two transfer slabs employ an innovative design, with a 1,500mm thick RC slab built off a 130mm thick composite slab acting as permanent formwork.

Summing up, the judges say this steel and glass 11-storey office building contains a substantial high‐spec multi‐storey car park, together with retail and workspace units, tied together with an innovative ‘hub’ circulation building.

Photo: © Hufton + Crow

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