One Hyde Park Case Study - By Ameya Tandulkar
The brief for One Hyde Park was for a landmark development which complements and enhances the rich textures of the existing local architecture, whilst creating a structure which integrates well with the neighbouring buildings. With the exception of the former Bowater House, one of the key consistent features was the expression of verticality, ranging from the bays of Mandarin Oriental Hotel to the verticality of the Hyde Park Barracks tower. The existing rooflines – a dynamic and prominent feature of the local context – are characterised by the cupolas, turrets, gables and chimney stacks of the adjacent Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Detailed analysis of the site context suggested that the buildings separating the Park from Knightsbridge were disjointed and disparate in height, style and composition, resulting in a varied architecture along the northern side of Knightsbridge. • In recognition of the context – and in contrast to the design of Bowater House – a series of interlinked pavilions was conceived to allow permeability and offer views of Hyde Park from Knightsbridge. The separation of the pavilions was conceived to create a stronger visual connection between Knightsbridge and the Park than had previously existed. • The relationship of the pavilions with each other and with neighbouring buildings follows a radial pattern emanating from a central point well within the Park. This has resulted in a complementary alignment with the immediately adjacent buildings of Wellington Court and Mandarin Oriental Hotel, as well as reinstating – as close as possible – the sweep of the original road and pavement alignment to Knightsbridge. • The shaping of the pavilions – which widen towards the centre of the site and taper towards the perimeter – allows for oblique lateral views from each pavilion towards Knightsbridge to the south and the Park to the north. • The passenger cores are used by residents for primary access to the apartments and penthouses, and service cores are used for secondary access by staff and for providing service access to the apartments. These cores are intended to be as light and transparent as possible, to maximise visual connections between the Park and Knightsbridge.
Design • The overall footprint of the redefined site has determined the width and length of the pavilions as well as the differences between each building and the width of the passenger cores and support service cores. This approach has helped to provide a continuity of the building edge to the new southern boundary of the site along Knightsbridge. • The shaping of each pavilion maximises its perimeter, allowing all the principal rooms to be located at the northern and southern ends along the edges of the pavilions, providing panoramic views across London. Secondary rooms are located further along the perimeter towards the centre of the pavilions, offering controlled views northwards and southwards, with tertiary spaces (those not requiring natural daylight) accommodated within the central part of the floorplates. The geometry of the privacy screens and the shape of the pavilions have combined to generate many of the interior spaces. • Views are controlled by the use of carefully positioned privacy screens placed externally to the façade. These screens prevent overlooking from one apartment to another. This also prevents overlooking between pavilions. A typical level façade system consists of triple glazing comprising an outer single pane, a ventilated cavity containing an interstitial vertical roller blind, and an inner double-glazed unit, all rigorously following the geometry of the pavilions. • The narrow promontories at the north and south end of each pavilion are intended to form the leading edges of the development. This gives it a slender appearance on both the Hyde Park and Knightsbridge sides. The scale of the scheme is evident when seen in terms of its relationship to the bays and projections evident in the predominantly Victorian and Edwardian buildings which surround it. • The pavilions are separated by highly transparent circulation cores comprising lobbies, stairwells and lift shafts and providing clarity between ‘served’ and ‘servant’ spaces. The pavilions vary in height, stepping up in increments of two storeys. The two-storey increments accord with the grain of the local context, providing scale, grain and legibility to the development and offering residents impressive views across London. • Architectural expression and selection of materials reflect the division of each pavilion into three distinct zones: top, middle and base. This, in turn, references the prevalent vertical zoning found in other local buildings. Flat, neutral greys have been used at the top of the building, whilst red/brown patinated copper privacy screens are used in the middle, reflecting the predominant colouration of Knightsbridge. Lower levels are neutral, similar to the stone plinths of the surrounding buildings, recessed behind the structural columns of the exposed white concrete frame.
A ‘top-down’ construction methodology was used which offered significant programme benefits by overlapping the construction processes above and below ground, allowing excavations and construction works below ground to take place under cover and the superstructure above ground to proceed in parallel.Below ground, four levels of basement, covering the entire site footprint, were excavated in two-tier sections, each six metres high. The intermediate levels were then inserted into these double-height spaces as necessary. The lower two levels have been primarily designated for residential stores and car and cycle parking, which are served by two car lifts from the entrance setting-down area. The upper two levels – comprising some double-height spaces – are occupied by residential and neighbouring Mandarin Oriental Hotel leisure facilities, central plant and the loading dock area, served by two truck lifts. • Following the casting of the ground-floor slab, the superstructure works commenced in parallel with the excavation of the basements. Above ground, two levels of floor slabs were installed in approximately 16-day cycles – the two-storey perimeter pre-cast concrete columns being erected first, then the single storey in situ / pre-cast internal columns, prior to casting an intermediate level floor slab, then the next level of single-storey columns erected, followed by the next floor slab. Teams working in parallel on each of the four pavilions repeated this cycle. The delivery of the southern sections of Pavilions B and C was staggered, allowing the road realignment to be completed, at which point, these areas were progressed and rejoined the overall programme. The superstructure of all four pavilions took 14 months to construct. • For lateral stability to the pavilions, a total of 48, two-storey high, perimeter steel cross braces are used – in the north/south orientation – across the whole development. These help to free up internal space permitting flexibility to the apartment configurations. The external visible structural elements to the pavilions are made from pre-cast concrete – containing crushed limestone aggregate together with a high content of mica, to create a stone-like appearance with light-reflecting quality that heightens the whiteness of these elements. The core structures located in between the pavilions and at the ends, consist of steel components designed and engineered to bolt together. • A mock-up of parts of an apartment was built in a warehouse in North London to give those working on the project a tangible view of the quality aspirations for the project as well as addressing buildability issues. This established the quality benchmark ensuring that quality control is maintained across all apartments within the development. • One Hyde Park has adopted a collaborative approach, combining the skills and expertise of some of the best professionals in the architecture, art, design and construction industries. At the height of the project, more than 2,000 people were working on the construction site.