Metropolitan Works, Creative Industries Centre London, Architect, Offices

Metropolitan Works London

Creative Industries Centre, East End building design by Cartwright Pickard Architects, England

1 Dec 2008

Metropolitan Works

Building for Metropolitan Works, London’s first Creative Industries Centre

Design: Cartwright Pickard Architects

London’s first Creative Industries Centre, Metropolitan Works, will open a stunning new £4.5 million building designed by Cartwright Pickard Architects in February 2009.

Situated in the East End of London, the Centre will house £2 million worth of state-of-the-art rapid prototyping and digital manufacturing equipment for use by architects, designers and other businesses.

Facade detail:
Metropolitan Works London
image © Morley von Sternberg

“The new Centre is extraordinary in both its design and purpose. It is the only industrial resource in the middle of London, combining a bureau service, CAD training, and superb Pay and Go project workspace.

Metropolitan Works is ultimately modern, understanding the light, flexible, and multidisciplinary working practices of contemporary architecture and design companies. It is the place for realising ideas.”
Matthew Lewis, Manager of Metropolitan Works

The building was conceived as a simple metal box to echo some of the materials used in the Centre and its semi-industrial nature. Built using modern methods of construction, with three of the four storeys manufactured off site, perforated aluminium panels envelope the building to dramatic effect. On the ground floor level, a specially commissioned frieze designed by Tom Price, has been laser cut out of the panels to give the structure a sense of movement and life.

Metropolitan Works
image © Morley von Sternberg

The centre incorporates a number of sustainability features, which have contributed to achieving a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’. A green sedum roof provides high levels of insulation, minimises rainwater run-off and offers ecological benefits. Rainwater is harvested for toilet flushing and a roof-mounted solar panel contributes to the hot water provision.

“We believe the finished building successfully reflects this world-class centre of excellence for design and production and it demonstrates how good, imaginative design can be combined with innovative methods of construction.”

“In addition to the benefit of speed, off-site construction helps to improve the quality of finish and the thermal performance of the building because it is manufactured in a factory environment. This was also a very constrained site with little storage and handling space for materials, which lent itself to the modular building method.”
James Pickard, Director of Cartwright Pickard Architects

Facilities in the new 1,100sqm centre include a double height machine hall to accommodate London’s largest 5 axis CNC router and 5 axis water-jet cutter, available as a bureau service. There will also be Pay and Go traditional workshops and (commercially licensed) CAD offices. A CAD training suite, refectory and conference room are located on the second floor, with open plan office accommodation for staff and research fellows on the top floor.

The opening of the building will mark the completion of a three year capital project, providing a truly comprehensive range of digital manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping equipment. In addition to the 5 Axis Router and Water Cutter, Metropolitan Works offers 3D printing, SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) in nylon, DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) in stainless steel and nickel alloy and Perfactory rapid prototyping in castable resin and three different 3D scanning technologies.

Metropolitan Works
Metropolitan Works provides an extensive range of state-of-the-art digital technology previously only available in industry for exploration by creative practitioners and manufacturers. In addition it continues to offer access to its well-established and traditional manufacturing facilities, CAD training and general creative business and technical advice. Metropolitan Works is supported by ERDF, Communities and Local Government, LDA and City Fringe Partnership.

The London Development Agency is the Mayor’s agency for sustainable economic development. The LDA supports hundreds of partner organisations to help build a thriving economy for London’s people, businesses and communities. The LDA is dedicated to improving sustainability, health and equality of opportunity for Londoners.

Cartwright Pickard Architects
Cartwright Pickard Architects was founded in 1996 by Peter Cartwright and James Pickard. Cartwright Pickard Architects has developed specialist expertise in the use of modern methods of construction and off-site building techniques for school, higher education and residential applications. The practice’s project portfolio in the education sector includes classroom buildings for primary and secondary schools and several university student accommodation projects.

Metropolitan Works
41 Commercial Road
City of London E1 1LA

Contact Metropolitan Works: 020 7320 1878

Metropolitan Works London images / information received 011208

Cartwright Pickard

Location: 41 Commercial Road, London E1 1LA

London, England, UK

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