This scheme was divided into three distinct phases – demolition, construction of a new public realm and construction of an 11-storey office building.
As it was situated in the city centre we had to undertake a large amount of community liaison. Not only was the site opposite the main train station, next to Coventry ring road and residential areas, we were also demolishing a 16-storey reinforced concrete office building immediately outside the train station. Two substantial link bridges over the highway were demolished over separate weekends and a raft of local services needed diverting, including high voltage supplies of 11kv and 33kv, gas, water and infrastructure for communications providers.
Overlapping considerably with the demolition phase was the formation of a key pedestrian route from the city to the train station. This was formed of granite and the planting of very mature trees gave the immediate impact that was required. Handover of the new public realm coincided with completion of the demolition.
We were also constructing Coventry City Council’s new HQ – an 11-storey office facility and the first building on the Friargate development, which will eventually feature 26 buildings with an estimated value of more than £700m.
The building was constructed using traditional techniques with a slightly offset slipform concrete core and steel composite frame, supporting 150mm thick decks sitting on top of a ground transfer slab.
The facade is relatively novel, in that the steel frame supports the concrete, brick-faced, panelised cladding system with a traditional stickwork curtain walling system inserted between the pre-cast brick faced panels. Some of the cladding panels weigh in excess of 12 tonnes.
Teamwork was a major factor in the successful completion of this project which won a Considerate Constructors’ Bronze Award.