The International Quarter is a unique mixed-use scheme providing an inspiring new business environment, designed to create spirit, space, community and culture. The project comprises 4,000,000 sq ft Grade ‘A’ office accommodation, 275,000 sq ft hotel space, 350 new residential units and associated community facilities.
Located at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, the project will be a major new employment hub in East London, creating more than 25,000 jobs. Transport for London (TfL) has agreed to occupy the building, with their offices being located within the second part of this £2.1 billion development.
Construction of the building started in summer 2015. The ambition for the project was to create a space with unrivalled connectivity for employees, business partners and customers as well as flexible, efficient and sustainable workspaces. RCM were appointed to supply 7000m2 of their BBA certified, Y-wall product. Y-wall is a flexible calcium silicate based fibre cement building board and used as an external sheathing board that offers excellent fire properties as well as high levels of dimensional stability. Y-wall was specified due to the height of the buildings at 18 storeys – it has been tested in line with the BS EN 8414 standard and is suitable for buildings over 18 metres. Y-wall is rated as A1 non-combustible – this refers to reaction-to-fire classifications for contribution to fire growth in accordance with – BS EN 13501-1. RCM also supplied their Joint Seal – a fully tested airtightness sealing solution – that was applied onto the sheathing boards to provide an airtight seal.
Challenges for RCM during this build included tight site access together with restricted loading and unloading areas. This was resolved by RCM pre-packing materials into one tonne lifts which allowed them to be transported via the crane. The main highlight during this build for RCM was being able to fabricate and cut boards to size – providing a lower cost for the client as well as less waste onsite.
Using contrasting colours and differing materials for walls and balcony floors the architects have created a striking building. The smooth curved lines running around each floor soften the vertical lines of the building adding depth and visual interest.
Ivan Harbour, senior partner and lead designer at Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, said he expected the International Quarter to become a global example of best practice in the development of new working environments: “Our tailored approach to the building design creates efficiency and continuity across the site whilst offering bespoke solutions to meet the specific needs of occupier, this, together with a similarly coherent ground plane, characterises the neighbourhood as a core piece of the emerging city quarter, whilst the focus on daylight, views, connectivity, community spaces and public realm produces truly cutting-edge workplaces with people at their heart.” Totalling 4,000,000 square feet, The International Quarter is be one of the largest commercial developments in London and is central to the regeneration of Stratford. The building has been designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners with the ambition to inspire employees through innovative design, improving productivity and encouraging health and well being through an alternative approach to workplace design. The building will offer a whole new working environment for London – providing employees access to fantastic transport, parklands and a wealth of shops, bars and restaurants in close proximity.