Offices

Gibraltar Port Authority

Client:
HM Government of Gibraltar
Service:
Architect and Lead & Consultant from inception to completion
Cost:
£6.5m
Current Stage:
Completed Sept. 2017

THE BRIEF

The design brief was to relocate and develop a new state-of the art operational services building jointly with a watch tower that would offer a unique and wide visual vantage point to monitor all sea link approaches of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

The site was identified along Windmill Hill Road where the MOD (Ministry of Defence) watch tower once stood with aplot size area of 820sqm.

The office building had to accommodate for the extra demand of office space that was required to decrease over crowd ednessin the operating facilities down at the Waterport office building.

The proposed building was designed on four level staking over 32% of the overall site footprint.

DESIGN CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

The new building facilities had to be divided into three main categories:

  1. Senior Management
  2. Administration
  3. Management

Interaction and communication between all three categories had to be maintained whilst preserving an element of privacy between floor levels.

The internal nett area covered 520sqm of usable space on all floor levels.

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION STRATEGY

The construction approach was to design a structural concrete frame that would deliver the time frame and minimise any disruption to the project in general.

Special attention was given for a robust sound building that would tackle the extreme weather conditions experienced in that area.

Special case studies on the type of building materials had to be carefully observed to be able to with stand the harsh conditions of the area especially with the strong gale force winds that is sometimes experienced.

A traditional construction allowed us togo for a solid block 225mm single leaf with a cost-effective exterior insulation finish system. By installing insulation to the outside of external walls, thermal bridging would be eliminated; a reduction in air, wind and moisture penetration through the system would also stabilise interior environments and minimise thermal shock.

Design freedom was also a fundamental aspect with a system that could be installed over a variety of substrates. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation is a lightweight material and could be cut or grooved to various shapes and surface patterns.

These strategic choices strengthened the overall integrity of the building:

  1. Energy efficiency
  2. Weatherability
  3. Durability
  4. Aesthetics
  5. Cost effective

Videopress release: New Port offices at Windmill Hill Road Site Construction Time-lapse