52 Whitmore Road is a 6 storey mixed use development on the south bank of the Regent’s Canal in Hackney. The site, which formerly housed a warehouse, comprises of offices funded by the Shoreditch Trust, a double height photographer’s studio and three duplex flats with roof terraces. The Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) structure was completed in five weeks.
The CLT structure, which sits on a lower concrete ground floor, is arranged to minimise lateral spans and maximise the multilateral strength of the material. For the studio, the party walls above the space act as deep beams and the north and south facades as giant trusses, making a vast, 9m x 23m column-free space achievable in the centre of the building. The building was clad in sweet chestnut, a local, light durable hardwood.
Cross-laminated timber is a truly sustainable modern method of construction offering;
- Cost savings – speed of construction reduces overall programme length which reduces contractors prelims and reduction in overall cost of construction.
- Time savings – speed of construction provides time savings on programme, an all-dry approach to external enveloping and internal finishes can be adopted, further accelerating on-site construction by eliminating wet trades.
- Design Flexibility – structural (bi-axial) performance allows design flexibility and architectural freedom.
- Precision – panels are manufactured, designed and processed using CAD/CAM technology and state-of-the-art CNC panel cutting machines.
- Structural capabilities – structural capabilities are akin to concrete in material strength, the cross lamination process results in dimensionally stable panels and high in-plan stiffness providing significant robustness.
- The CLT structure can be left exposed as a highly aesthetic internal finish.