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Xylo

Global Holdings

An innovative sustainability-led project set to deliver the largest all-timber structure, net zero carbon office building in the UK

Xylo
Global Holdings

Piercy&Company was commissioned by Global Holdings to redevelop and future proof the site of the former Holborn Town Hall on the south-east corner of Gray’s Inn Road and Clerkenwell Road.

An innovative 95,000 sq ft all-timber structure has been designed by Piercy&Company to include eight floors of bright, light workspace, a communal roof terrace and yoga deck, and five landscaped terraces with city views. A restaurant at ground level will bring occupants and locals together, while a fully equipped active commuting hub will promote green travel to and from the building.

The main building’s timber structure will be made from a highly sustainable glulam frame with cross-laminated timber (CLT) slabs, resulting in an embodied carbon intensity much lower than that of a typical office development. Significantly, the embodied carbon rating of the building’s timber structure, combined with its high-performance façade, should outperform the UK Green Building Council’s ‘Building the Case for Net Zero Office’ baseline target by over 50%. The structural embodied carbon is incredibly low, and with over 2,400TCO2e stored within the timber, the timber structure is effectively carbon negative during its lifetime.

The designs respectfully embrace the area’s Edwardian and Victorian architecture, reinterpreting the details and craftsmanship of its Hatton Garden Conservation Area location. The building’s exterior is functionally and aesthetically inspired by the masonry and fenestration of the fine Victorian buildings neighbouring the site. The deeply articulated façade creates a shifting perception of shadow, mass and solidity, echoing the architectural language of the conservation area. The façade also plays a key role in reducing operational carbon by varying the mouldings in response to the building’s orientation to passively shade the building.

By pursuing innovative design and circular economy principles, construction methods and use of sustainable materials, this LETI Pioneer building will deliver a substantially reduced carbon footprint versus typical office buildings and is targeting a NABERS 5.5* energy rating. The use of low carbon materials and circular economy principles for the façade and interiors will also exceed GLA and Camden policy targets for sustainability and energy efficiency, with the dry nature of the construction allowing for future deconstruction and re-use with minimal wastage.

The second building within the development sees Piercy&Company refurbish a mid-20th Century building on the site, currently known as 88 Gray’s Inn Road. In keeping with the culture of Clerkenwell and Farringdon as centres of innovation and creativity, this 12,000 sq ft building will provide six affordable apartments and an airy ground level affordable workspace to support the area’s entrepreneurs and creative industries.

The two buildings have been designed to respond to their immediate context: the development of 88 Gray’s Inn Road knits the affordable housing into the finer grain of inner courtyards of the heritage Bourne Estate; while the new office responds to the more urban context of its Clerkenwell Road address.

Details

Client:
Global Holdings
Location:
Gray's Inn Road x Clerkenwell Road, Camden
Type:
Workplace
Gross Floor Area:
95,000 sq ft
Stage:
Planning Consented

Project Team

  • Avison Young, Project Management & Employers Agent
  • Norman Rourke Pryme (NRP), Quantity Surveyor
  • Max Fordham, MEPH Engineer, Sustainability and Embodied Carbon Consultant
  • Max Fordham, Acoustic Consultant
  • Max Fordham, Digital / Smart Buildings
  • Heyne Tillett Steele, Structural Engineer
  • Fox Fernley Landscape Office, Landscape Architect
  • Gerald Eve, Planning
  • Eckersley O'Callaghan, Facade
  • Maze Fire, Fire Engineering
  • Ignis Consulting, Fire Design

Credits

  • Piercy&Company