Twickenham Riverside Development will revitalise the riverside and aims to drive economic improvement to the wider Twickenham area
The model presented is a timber canopy and RC frame for the Wellbeing Centre, which was one of several timber grid-shell structures included within the recent Twickenham Riverside Development Bid. Mason Navarro Pledge supported Cullinan Studio Architects with the civil and structural engineering design behind this RIBA Competition and our team were shortlisted as one of five finalists. The model was primarily built to gain a better understanding of the canopy structural feasibility and restraints. The elaborate oyster-shell grid was intended to be supported by steel tree columns and anchored down to the concrete roof deck.
What were the challenges and what made the project successful?
We were the only competition team to propose the use of large, timber grid shell structures to provide a sense of destination to the site. The use of structural form to actively draw in the public demanded that we manage the use of complex shapes that were not only aesthetically interesting, but that could also be proved to be structurally feasible and buildable.
The Wellbeing Centre Roof was an oyster shell profile which presented a particular challenge. Vertical loads could be supported off steel columns and a reinforced concrete deck but we also had to ensure the grid shell was stiff enough resist lateral wind loading along the river corridor.
At this early stage, we integrated large CHS steel columns at the facade line and anchored the grid shell to an RC roof deck, with additional steel bracing to the rear to stiffen the frame. The Tekla model was vital to proving the feasibility of this option and giving us detailed information about the steel, timber and RC elements.
The project in numbers
- Length & height of timber canopy = 36m x 12m
- Timber elements = Over 2300