Zero-Carbon Tower

Reimagining an existing 1960s office tower as a net zero carbon project

Zero Carbon Tower

In 2018, Woods Bagot were invited to reimagine an existing 1960s office tower, in the London Borough of Camden, as a net zero carbon project for a major British developer.

The brief for this project called for ambitious sustainable targets. Woods Bagot’s proposed scheme therefore centered around the retention of as much embodied carbon as possible, as the foundation of its net-zero strategy. As well as working closely with Atelier Ten on minimising the operational carbon, the proposals sought to refurbish and re-use as much as possible of the existing building fabric, including the original façade, thus reducing the projects whole life carbon outputs.

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Project details

To increase the size of the floor plates of the existing concrete-framed structure, Woods Bagot worked with Ramboll Engineers to propose innovative cross-laminated timber (CLT) structural extensions, creating external terraces going up the tower. The new timber and concrete floorplate structure creates characterful workspace that is flexible to accommodate different tenant sizes, while being adaptable to tenants’ future needs with the option for connecting floors.

The proposals made intricate but impactful changes to the configuration of the core to improve the functionality of the office spaces and overall efficiency of the building. Other changes included the removal of internal ceilings and raised floors to increase floor-to-ceiling heights, with power and data served to desks from above. With the fabric of the building revealed, the floorplates can adopt the character of “warehouse space in the sky.”

At the base of the building, the scheme reimagined the existing podium structure to resolve the way the building engaged with the public realm and related to the scale of adjacent buildings. A proposed colonnaded retail space improves pedestrian links and a characterful brick expression enlivens the arrival experience.

Woods Bagot proposed a series of multipurpose spaces around the public routes on the ground floor, that could accommodate a variety of uses such as education and manufacturing space. These spaces would bring a diverse range of businesses and occupiers relevant to Camden and its local community into the area. This broadening of uses, with the mix of office occupiers and retail tenants, could strengthen the building’s connection to the city, creating new ways to bring people together.

London, UK

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