Archway Tower is a notorious, 17 storey, 1970s office building located above Archway underground station. The 17 storey building has had a chequered history but has become an icon on the north London skyline GRID was appointed to assess redevelopment of the tower for sustainable Private Rental Residential use and kick start the regeneration of the Archway area. Change of use was obtained through office to residential Permitted Development. Archway Tower is a conversion of a former public office building into private apartments yielding 118 1, 2 bedroom and studio apartments. Built in 1963, building is a typical example of an expressed in-situ concrete frame with poor quality glazed cladding and a two storey service zone expressed at the top of the building.
The existing building is composed of three ‘slabs’ visibly sliding past each other- a classic slab block technique. The cladding, to be replaced as part of a detailed application, is fully glazed to the wide east/west facades but the end walls are of black concrete. To transform this overscaled, foreboding mass, the end walls are to be reclad in light, reflective, material and the other facades are reclad in deep, perforated aluminium coffers with floor to ceiling glazing. There is always a trade-off between thermal performance to a new envelope and the desire to maximise the skyline views. Here the glass is framed in aluminium unitised cladding that contains the natural ventilation openings behind perforated panels. Working with the existing structure is also complex as a result of changing large compartment office floor plates to flats, with additional structure to pick up the loading of heavy modern cladding. The conversion retains the existing structure and main core arrangements. The new cladding will facilitate the triple glazing and super-insulation with whole house ventilation. Deep reveals to columns and cill will reflect the light of a changing sky and the perforated ventilation panels will cast different shadows and patterns. The crowning glory is the conversion of the plant room into double height amenity space for the residents