Webb Yates Engineers have worked with SelgasCano to transform a former carpet factory in Shoreditch, creating a collaborative workspace featuring transparent walls, feature staircases and a living façade.
A large opening was created between two floors to link the spaces and form a centrepiece. Within this space, a folded steel plate stair was hung using 10mm diameter rebar. The rebar was positioned using a randomised algorithm to ensure it crossed past itself enough to keep the whole stair stable, creating a chaotic look while still being carefully calculated. The interwoven bars form a curved mesh strong enough to support the balustrade and hang the stair. All the fixings were developed with the fabricator to enable this complicated structure to be built on site.
The clear acrylic internal walls were carefully set out so that they were curved enough to stiffen them and create the winding corridors and rooms between. They were matched by the new façade, consisting of sheets of acrylic curved the opposite way to either dome out of or arc into the building. Erection of the supporting steelwork for this façade was all done from within the building so no scaffolding was required at all.
On the side of the building, a new lift clad in polycarbonate rises up from the ground floor to the future location of a rooftop café with various new staircases wrapped around it to link up all the levels. Webb Yates Engineers worked closely with the architect and the client to realise their vision and creatively solve any issues.