The Tower at GWQ
The rationale for a tall building in this location was determined by an urban design study of the cityscape along this main arterial route into London. A number of 1930’s and 1940’s Art Deco industrial buildings line this route including the important Listed Wallis House, which forms part of this Great West Quarter Development.
These significant buildings provide a legible ‘gateway’ to London. This tower establishes a new 21st Century landmark, utilising modern materials and techniques to create an architectural statement worthy of this route known as ‘The Golden Mile’
The building design has has been influenced by environmental factors. Firstly, the orientation and shape of the building has been generated to mitigate the effects of the prevailing winds.
Secondly, the noise from aircraft, the adjacent dual carriageway and a nearby railway informed the innovative twin skin façade, which is both visually striking and technically sophisticated. This approach provides significant environmental benefits; the outer skin creates an enclosure against noise, wind and rain, whilst the inner skin creates a thermal barrier. The apartments benefit from the double skin façade through the inclusion of winter gardens, providing amenity space throughout the year. The pattern of ‘fritting’ on the outer skin, generated by a detailed analysis of the facade, provides varying levels of shading in areas that would otherwise experience high solar gains.
The building uses several artistic lighting strategies to create an active façade at night, including the 85 metre art light installation, winter garden lighting and illumination of the underside of the viewing gallery giving the effect of the viewing gallery floating above the tower at night. The winter gardens illuminate the inner skin and enhance the sculptural qualities of the double skin façade whilst creating a random pattern that vary from floor to floor.