Behind the scenes at XYZ Spinningfields

XYZ site

XYZ concrete frame

Progress on the concrete frame for the XYZ building at Spinningfields carries on apace. Here are some photos from a recent site visit, brace yourselves for lots of concrete! XYZ is on a tight urban site, on the last empty plot at Spinningfields. This is Allied London’s first concrete-framed building at Spinningfields, where all the other developments have been steel framed.

XYZ floor plates

Generous floor plates. 4m floor to ceiling height at ground and 3.5m ceiling heights on typical office floors.

The use of concrete allows uninterrupted flat soffits, accentuating the height of the space. Where possible we have tried to use a modest palette of self finished materials – exposed concrete, anodised aluminium and timber.

Smooth concrete columns

The circular columns are cast in steel-faced shuttering to achieve a smooth matte finish with no horizontal joints.

Tie hole and board marking setting out required an exceptional level of coordination between the concrete subcontractor, lift supplier and ourselves. Soffit board joints were developed in conjunction with the concrete subcontractor making efficient use of standard plywood sheets (1220 x 2440mm) but ensuring that the joints worked with the structural columns in the building.

Experimentation in concrete

The design uses a variety of different construction methods to create interest within the restrained palette – with insitu slabs, post tensioned slabs, jump formed concrete cores, slip formed concrete cores, precast stairs and feature board marking to the central core.

Experimentation in concrete

Contrasting finishes and textures creates an interesting, rich aesthetic to the central core.

We are particularly proud of how the stairs are looking. Here you can see the contrast between smooth precast stairs and the precise detailing of the recesses against the rough textured slip formed core walls in cores 2 + 3.

XYZ stairs

Geometrically interesting stairs with curved winding soffits in cores 2 & 3.

Recesses and contrasting nosings are cast into the precast flights and connected to the walls with invisible connectors. Large windows against the cores bring an abundance of natural daylight into the building and also animate the building edge.

Next stages

Core 1, our feature stair with a large winding stair case that flips to opposite sides of the core between floors creating large double height spaces between flights is due to be installed in August. We’re also looking forward to seeing a full scale mock up of the pre-cast concrete external panels early next month, and the window systems start arriving on site in the next few weeks.