The plan of the building takes on a‘doughnut’ form, centred around an inner courtyard in order to provide an acoustic ‘buffer’ zone from the busy roads bounding the site to the north and south. Public areas, such as the main entrance, restaurant and bar have been located on the ground floor with bedrooms on the 4 levels above. This has informed the elevational treatment – the ground floor is a mix of glazed curtain walling and masonary construction, whilst the upper floors have been clad in a colourful rainscreen skin. The building thus takes the form of a rainscreen coloured box ‘hovering’ on a glazed/solid masonary base. An array of colours have been carefully chosen to create a dynamic and animated facade. Hues have been chosen to complement the proposed landscaping and strips of colour help to emphasise the verticality of the elevation – providing some relief from the horizontal form.
Existing and redundant services on site. The site originally was the compound area for the construction of the North terminal and the adjacent Sofitel Hotel. As such, there were significant amounts of redundant services and concrete bases buried beneath both the area of the MSCP and the new hotel. The existing services drawings for the area, provided by BAA could not be relied upon. Extensive site surveys were required to counter this problem and all excavation works were carried out with caution.
The site is located north of Heathrow Airport (approx. 470m north of the centre line of the northern runway), and is bound to the north side by the A4 Colnbrook by-pass, and to the south side by Bath Road, from which the site is accessed. A public right-of-way adjoins the site to the western side, and the eastern boundary adjoins the neighbouring site of McDonalds restaurant