A Thornton Tomasetti project was recently awarded a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award. The Windmill Hill Archive and Study Centre in Waddesdon, England is now eligible for consideration for the RIBA Stirling prize, which will be announced at the end of September 2011.
The project consists of the redevelopment of existing farm buildings at Windmill Hill Farm into an archive and research facility, along with providing a new home for the philanthropic work of the Rothschild Foundation, which supports a wide range of educational, cultural, heritage and community-based initiatives in more than 40 European countries.
• The project site was a dilapidated dairy farm in the historically agricultural village of Waddesdon in Aylesbury Vale, England, surrounded by a rural farming community of 2,000 residents. Though dating to the late 19th Century, the farm had gone through multiple renovations and expansions over the years, which included the extension of several concrete and steel framed cattle sheds with large expanses of concrete.
• Following an exhaustive site investigation, a grain store and cattle shed were retained as part of the new development while the other structures were demolished. However, the original building footprints were used for the new building layouts, with a focus on maximising views of the surrounding countryside.
• Thornton Tomasetti provided structural and civil design services for the retained buildings and four new buildings totaling approximately 16,000 square feet.
• The project’s structure is an integral part of the architectural form, particularly in the case of the centerpiece: the reading room and library building, which features an oak veneered, laminated-oak-framed roof with a stressed skin plywood membrane. The roof is completely open to ridge level and has hidden mechanical connections, which resulted in a large open space and the desired furniture-grade finish.
• Thornton Tomasetti’s structural design team worked closely with Stephen Marshall Architects LLP and other consultants from the onset of the project to develop an integrated design strategy for all the services.
• This collaborative design process is also illustrated in the two-storey archive building that forms the western wing of the development. The construction relied heavily on the structural form for thermal mass and insulation to effectively utilize passive climate control.
About Thornton Tomasetti (www.ThorntonTomasetti.com)
Thornton Tomasetti provides engineering design, investigation and analysis services to clients worldwide on projects of every size and level of complexity. We fulfill the needs of our clients at every stage in the building life cycle through seven integrated practices in Structural Engineering, Façade Engineering, Forensics, Renewal, Construction Engineering, Property Loss Consulting and Sustainability. Founded in 1956, today Thornton Tomasetti is an 800-person organization of engineers, architects and other professionals collaborating from offices across the United States and in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
Great Ink Communications – 212.741.2977
Eric Gerard/Lindsay Church
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James M. Kent, JKent@ThorntonTomasetti.com
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