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Chelsea Harbour Design Centre

CHDC Building, London Architecture design by Duggan Morris Architects

11 Feb 2008


Chelsea Harbour Design Centre – Press release 11 Feb 2008

Duggan Morris Architects has secured planning on a major regeneration scheme that will provide close to an additional 100,000 square feet of retail and exhibition space within the existing Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour.

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre Chelsea Harbour Design Centre
Chelsea Harbour Design Centre images : Duggan Morris Architects

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre Expansion

The site is located in an area of increased development activity, with several key office, retail and residential schemes having achieved planning consent. Including Terry Farrell’s proposals for the Lot’s Road Power Station site.

Joe Morris, director, Duggan Morris Architects said:
“Our aim is to enhance the building’s identity. The new back-lit faÁade will give the building a presence – creating a highly visible, contemporary and identifiable face. All the new extensions will match the existing height of the Design Centre, forming vertical atriums that can seen as contemporary versions of the domed atrium spaces – thus creating a new landmark.”

The practice has overcome a number of strategic and aesthetic challenges, in order to create a design centre of international repute. The site is generally perceived as inward looking, difficult to access and to navigate through.

To solve this, Duggan Morris Architects has flipped the relationship of adjacent buildings, re-orientating the design centre so it faces outwards. This shift will create a well lit, signposted and easily accessible new route along Chelsea Harbour Drive.

The design was developed after careful analysis of the role of the building in its context. Aesthetically the new building is sympathetic to the surrounding area and the proposed extensions are perceived as having minimal overall impact on the site and the neighbouring buildings.

The most dramatic change to the existing building is in the treatment of the external face, where the use of a new cladding system is intended to give the building a new identity and landmark quality.

This skin, perceived as a unified cladding system and modular in form, is to be fabricated from glazed and steel panels which are both etched and lazer-cut in an abstract garden motif – a nod to Chelsea’s historical status as a market garden up until 19th century development boom. The treatment to the faÁade reveals the activity of the centre through carefully selected glazed elements, whilst at the same time, harnesses an opportunity to express decoratively the building function within.

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre Chelsea Harbour Design Centre
Chelsea Harbour Design Centre images : Duggan Morris Architects

Clearly identified glazed entrances that face the public route are introduced; the main one from Lots Road with a secondary rear entrance from Harbour Avenue (that takes into account the planned new railway station serving the harbour and the recently completed Imperial Wharf development beyond). Imperial Wharf will take in views of the largest area of new cladding, extending fully along Harbour Avenue.

The proposed scheme also includes measures to improve the energy efficiency of the site – increasing the proportion of renewable energy generation and reducing C02 emissions. To achieve a 10 per cent reduction in emissions, the design team elected to utilise Solar PV panels and a Ground Source Heat Pump system. Additionally, a new green roof is intended to cover the entire roof surface of the design centre which will introduce a new local eco system as well as act as a much needed visual amenity when viewed from surrounding higher buildings, including the Conrad Hotel and the Chambers Offices.

Currently, there is little in the way of quality public space, and the existing pedestrian routes are set against low grade hard landscaping, at ground floor only with limited seating. The new extensions to the Design Centre are designed and positioned in such a way as to ensure clear spaces are retained between it, and the other key buildings.

Working with landscape architect, Jinny Blom, new landscaped spaces will be created between the Conrad Hotel entrance, the Design Centre and the Chambers building. New upper level terraces provide much-needed outside space within the Design Centre itself.

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre – Building Information

Architects: Duggan Morris Architects
Project Manager: Buro 4
Quantity Surveyor: Robinson Low Francis (RLF)
Services / Sustainability Engineer: JDP
Structural Engineer: Fluid Structures
Planning Consultant: DP9
Landscape architect; Jinny Blom
Client: Chelsea Harbour Ltd

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre images / information received 110208

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre design : Duggan Morris Architects

Location: Chelsea Harbour, London, England, UK

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