A six storey office block, built in the heart of ManchesterÃs Northern Quarter by the Argent Group PLC. The building has a mix of exposed concrete, brick and glazed external finishes with an emphasis on exposed concrete internally. Designed to achieve an excellent BREEAM rating. The Hive is the new chosen home for the Arts Council and comprises 7,800 sq ft of cutting edge office accommodation. All floors have been designed to be passively ventilated with openable windows for cross ventilation. The insitu concrete framed building occupies the site of a former department store.
The new piled foundations were set inside the original basement walls to avoid disturbance of the walls and the adjacent streets in this central Manchester site. The ground beams were then designed to cantilever out to the back of the pavement to support the columns which were located here. The concrete frame utilised concrete post tensioned floor slabs to economise on depth. A deep live adopted drain run under the site which itself is enclosed on all four sides by roads. This made access and construction a challenge in this busy area of Manchester.
The insitu concrete frame structural solution integrates with the building fabric to provide an integral part of the building ventilation solution.
This solution requires early coordination of all disciplines, particularly when combined with the practical limitation of a very tight town centre location.