The main carcass of the building has been constructed of solid cross-laminated timber, stiffened where necessary by steel, to form a highly sustainable, modern solution which was manufactured off-site. The innovative CLT hybrid structural strategy has been developed by timber and steel specialist B+K Structures to achieve the unique 10 storey building design in the most efficient and sustainable way possible.
The building has also proved a useful as an educational tool. We recently led the office and students from the Canterbury School of Architecture around the building site to discuss the merits of hybrid structural solutions and the challenges of constructing timber buildings of such height.
The Wenlock Road development proposal has a unique cruciform plan, which is staggered on each level to allow all 50 residential units benefit from at least 2, if not 3 aspects. This design strategy maximises light and ventilation into the whole flat plan and creates space for generous east and west facing terraces, as well as generous open terrace at first floor. When complete next year the cross laminated elevations will be clad in slatted western red cedar while along the Wenlock Road elevation a dark brick screen will complete the street elevation, which forms the edge of the conservation area.