The competition site is located close to the main transport, cultural facilities and, at the same time, a five minute walk to the old industrial area. The location has good potential as a center for offices, business, conferences and leisure. Commercial and catering activities, which are intense in the city center, start to fade along the borders of the river. New commercial programs together with bars and restaurants will attract both the people who work on the opposite side of the river and those who live and work in the center. Before the Brewery wharf was built there were few conference venues close to the site. The introduction of new conference spaces will establish the area as an ideal place for business and meetings.There are few Spa centers in Leeds and new ones close to the site are reported to be lacking in service. Wellness activities integrate perfectly in business and city center environments.
Visual Landmark VS Periscope Tall buildings, being visible from long distances, act as reference points but have no relation with the site context and with human scale. Landmarks do not interact with the city, they simply express their presence.
Our building functions as a periscope. Through the inclination of its glass facades the reflections of the city will be visible around the surrounding building area.
The main aim of the stuctural design was to provide maximum flexibility of floor surface and avoid large structural elements. The main supporting system is a light structural skin called diagrid which wraps the built volume. The scale of the diagrid varies according to load distribution and building geometry and its density is calculated through a step by step process.
The floor slabs, the perimetral and transversal beams, the elevator/stair cores complete the structural system.
The diagrid optimizes the use of metal elements through the concentration of matter in the most loaded zones and leaves large areas free of structural elements.
TESSELLATION AND OPTIMIZATION
The diamond tessellation of a diagrid base unit acts as a latticed load-bearing structure. Given a set of loads and an homogeneous frame, a structural software calculates the stress map. The less efficient elements (in grey) can be isolated and eliminated. With the new structure a new calculation is launched and a new configuration of inefficient elements appear.
This step by step process transforms the original structure configuration into a more efficient gradation that is the result of the building geometry and program load distribution.
The floor slabs are connected to the transversal beams which spreads the load into the diagrid intersection.