Located close to Tottenham Court Road underground station in London, Outernet is a mixed-use development. It combines retail, leisure and entertainment spaces, commercial offices and residential accommodation across four new buildings and a number of existing buildings.
To deliver this project to shell and core, Skanska is drawing on its skills in design, piling and foundations, temporary works, construction and mechanical and electrical engineering. The new buildings will be built to meet BREEAM (2011) ‘Very Good’. The domestic refurbishments are designed to meet BREEAM (2012) ‘Excellent’.
An intricate structure in a complex location
Outernet is unique in its challenges and appeal. The largest of the new buildings incorporates an innovative, retractable façade on its middle floors, revealing an urban public gallery that will open at street level. The building’s foundations straddle the Crossrail tunnel, above which the team will construct an underground ‘box within a box’ to contain an auditorium. Skanska’s expertise in designing innovative programmes will enable different parts of the scheme to be built simultaneously.
Keeping Tin Pan Alley’s character
In the second phase, the team will refurbish the buildings along the north side of Denmark Street, London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’, an area with a rich musical history. The street was once home to ‘The NME’ and ‘Melody Maker’, as well as recording studios that saw The Kinks, the Rolling Stones and Elton John pass through their doors.
The refurbishment covers a number of Grade II listed buildings on Denmark Street, Denmark Place and St Giles High Street, some dating back to before the Great Fire of London in 1666.
The ‘smithy’, a 300-year-old structure that has been a stable yard and a blacksmith in years gone by, will be placed on a concrete raft and moved temporarily within the site, before being returned to its original location to become part of the entrance to the underground auditorium.
Doing good business
Working with Camden Council, the project team devised a socioeconomic sustainability plan setting out initiatives such as apprenticeships, training schemes and local causes.
The many independent music shops on Denmark Street will see their premises updated, with offices and residential accommodation on the upper levels. Thoughtful programming will ensure there is minimal disruption to these local businesses.
Construction work started in July 2017 and is expected to be completed in 2020.