The building incorporated precast concrete panels for the exterior but due to site restrictions Visioneer wasn’t able to use a tower crane to hoist them in. ‘So everything was built by mobile cranes,’ he says. ‘We had access to the rear lane and the main street, but it was a challenge to operate mobile cranes and keep the peace with the neighbours, particularly in the early stages of the job.’
However, these are the types of builds where the Visioneer team shine, bringing their project management expertise to deal with the demanding, the intricate and the bespoke. The building firm prides itself on its collaborative approach, providing value for money for clients and keeping within critical time and cost parameters.
Where suitable, alternative construction processes and techniques are presented as options for buildability efficiencies. One example included the fluted decorative panels to the entry lobby and kitchen island benches, originally specified as precast concrete (like the exterior) but amended to GRC moulded panels. ‘GRC is glass reinforced concrete,’ James explains. ‘It’s a lightweight form that is easier to install which we used instead of concrete – it creates the look without the weight and the cost.’
For the penthouse apartment known as ‘the glass jewel’ on top of the ‘Brutalist base’, curved glazing dramatically frames a private rooftop courtyard, its semi-circle shape a balancing act to the inverted arches below. Here pink concrete with insitu Terrazzo flows underfoot, laid via ‘an old-fashioned methodology where broken pieces of marble are inserted before the concrete is poured around it’. This artistic detail is echoed underneath the suspended fireplace in the living room, as well as the lobby and the entrance to the building. Timber floorboards add warmth to the concrete, stone and brass details, while a pink skylight and a three-level light shaft within the building provides natural light and ventilation.