rpa:group were engaged as Architects and Lead Designers for the RIBA Work Stages 3+ to 7, with the objective to create a scheme using a contemporary design approach that enhanced the existing streetscape. The proposal needed to reflect and respond to its particular location in Borehamwood. Given its prominent position, there was an opportunity to create a statement building as a landmark, which could act as a ‘gateway’ development to mark the start of the Area Action Plan for the Elstree Way Corridor area. By carefully considering and analysing the main constraints and opportunities of the site, in particular its relationship to neighbouring properties and other recent residential and mixed residential developments along Elstree Way, we have proposed a building with a suitable use, scale and massing for this corner location, helping to create an iconic new landmark for the area.
The use of a higher corner treatment, acts as a focal point to the development and reinforces the building’s prominent position on the roundabout. A key consideration in the design process has been to create a scheme with a clear top, middle and bottom. This has been achieved through a variety of techniques including a tall corner element to provide a strong architectural statement at the key junction. Smaller elements at the South and North end elevations complement the adjacent lower building heights, while intermediate elements provide considered level changes to the strong corner elements. Double height openings at Ground and First Floor, enhanced with varied detailing, help to define a clear ‘base’ to the scheme. Glass setbacks on top storeys of the side wings help reduce perceived scale of building and provide a clear ‘top’ to the scheme. Used between principle elements, glass setbacks also help to break up the sheer scale of the building.
Darryl Beck, Associate at rpa:group comments, “From the outset of the design process, our aim has been to produce a scheme of exceptional quality, that is appropriate to its prominent corner location. The resultant building is highly informed by its context and has been designed to set a benchmark for future developments in the Elstree Way Corridor.”
Work commenced in January 2017 and reached completion in November 2017.