Saffron Square

Commissioned by Berkeley Homes in 2008, Manhire Associates worked closely with Rolfe Judd Architects to develop designs for the development, with work on site commencing in 2011 after the demolition of the existing office buildings. Providing over 800 apartments, retail and other leisure facilities in 6 buildings over a basement car park, the project posed numerous challenges.

The buildings range in height from 6 to 45 storeys set around a landscaped square accessed through expressed concrete feature columns that support the iconic 45 storey tower which forms the centre-piece of the development. At 146m tall, the tower is one of the tallest buildings and upon opening was the third tallest residential building in the United Kingdom.

The site contained an existing basement to a building that was founded on under-reamed piles and proposals were developed to retain and re-use existing construction where possible –basement walls were utilized in the temporary works and some of the existing piles were retained to support some of the new basement construction.  

While the medium rise buildings are of conventional reinforced concrete flat slab construction with thin slabs and ‘blade columns’, the tower slabs are post-tensioned to minimize foundation loads and to also improve the performance of the tower core under wind loading. Wind tunnel modelling enabled the stability system to be refined with cross-walls and link beams combining with an off-set core to limit accelerations and velocities under wind loading to within accepted levels of comfort.

The tower is founded on a 3.5m thick piled raft on large diameter cased bored piles, and settlement studies were undertaken to show that movements in the long term were satisfactory.

The site is located on the Wellesley Road gateway, benefiting from numerous transport links, via rail, tram and road and the development is prominent on the skyline.

ClientBerkeley Homes
Architect:Rolfe Judd
ContractorBerkeley, AJ Morrisroe, Yuanda
  • Urban Regeneration
  • Residential
  • Brownfield
  • Expressed Structure
  • Facades
  • Ground Movements
  • Party Walls
  • Re-used/Recycle Materials
  • SUDS
  • Tall Buildings
  • Temporary Works
  • Underpinning
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