The building occupies a full City block in a 3.2 hectare site, with 2 blocks separated by a public colonnade, and thought to have cost over £1bn. More general information on the project facades can be found in a case study in the ‘new build’ area of the website.
Previously the quarry mainly supplied material for paving, with a relatively modest output, and significant work was required to upscale excavation, to produce material suitable for a premium quality office facade. This included working the quarry right up to its boundaries, to supply the volume of material required, realignment of access roads and many other logistical challenges which were overcome to make new working areas and faces for production available.
The block sizes desired for the large stone cruciform elements at the beam/column nodes were very challenging to realise, and many mock-ups and trial assemblies were undertaken to arrive at a solution, to deliver the demanding architectural intent. FMDC geologists worked closely with Grants – the precast sub-contractor – and other design team members throughout the process.