Last night at a packed Museum of London, the 21 shortlisted project teams for the Structural Steel Design Awards 2016 came together to celebrate the use of Steel and to recognise the high standard of structural and architectural design attainable in the use of steel and its potential in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics and innovation.

Steel continues to be the most popular frame material and this year’s entries reflect the increasingly high standards that are being achieved, not only in design and all aspects of fabrication, but also in the short programmes and accuracy on site.

Thames Tower, going up against some of the most prestigious structures from around the Britain, walked away with one of five awards on the night.The Structural Steel Design Award judges commented;

“This is a thorough and rigorous project which has been carried out with integrity and skill. With both painstaking analysis and inventive thought, a substantial but un-loved city-centre concrete building has been enlarged upwards and horizontally by the creative use of steelwork.”

“The project was technically and logistically challenging, but teamwork and a committed client have achieved a solution which is exemplary in its calm elegance.”

Thames Tower

Located in the heart of Reading town centre, the existing Thames Tower concrete office block has been given a new lease of life with an enlarged footprint at each floor level in conjunction with a five-storey steel framed extension above level 11.

The original scheme concept was to demolish the existing concrete-framed structure and replace it with a new 25- storey high tower, which would have necessitated the requirement for new supporting/up-rated concrete foundations.

However, through an innovative design proposal, the core of the existing structure was maintained and developed using a series of strengthening works throughout the height of the concrete frame, along with the provision of four additional steel framed office floors to increase the net usable internal areas.  This also provided huge ‘value-engineering’ savings to the scheme as the basic core of the structure was maintained and no amendments or enhancements of the existing concrete foundations were necessary.

The refurbishment works included stripping the building back to its structural frame and the removal of the existing concrete cladding panels to all elevations, which were then replaced with a new terracotta tiling system to complement the local town centre surroundings.

The final result is a building that is more elegant and proportionate, whilst blending seamlessly into its surroundings.

The project team is delighted to have one this prestigious award and are looking forward to unveiling the completed scheme in Q1 of 2017.

Please feel free to read more about the Award and Thames Tower by following this link.

Thames Tower Structural Steel