Main ContractorMace
ArchitectPLP Architecture
Structural EngineerArup Associates
LocationOsterley, London

The Brief

To continue our work from Sky’s Believe in Better Building and construct another outstanding office.

The Results

Officially the UK’s Best Office, Sky Central is the cornerstone of the Osterley Campus. Housing around 41,000m2 of flexible office and work space, Sky Central is a landmark development for the client.

About The Client

Sky is a UK telecommunications company, renowned across the globe for its innovative thinking and market leadership. The Sky Campus, located in Osterley, West London, is currently undergoing an extensive redevelopment. Once completed, the site consolidates the company’s operations and create up to 12,000 jobs within the Hounslow borough.

The new development on the Sky Campus comprises Sky Central, Sky Believe in Better Building – a new educational facility for graduates, apprentices and staff training, and Sky Health and Fitness – a multi storey fitness studio.

The Brief

The second phase of the development, Sky Central, is a mixed use scheme with a combined total of circa 41,000m2. Encompassing office space, studios and production facilities together with research and development zones, the project was the centrepiece for the campus development. The site is also home to an energy centre, servicing facilities, plant and equipment, as well as bicycle parking - complimented by hard and soft landscaping.

Key Challenges

A key challenge for this project was its location. Directly under a major Heathrow flight path, the building would need to match up to and exceed current UK building acoustic regulations. B&K’s solution to this was the use of engineered timber cassettes, a product which provides an excellent reduction in airborne sound. The underside of the cassettes incorporated a combination of acoustic fleece cladding and mineral wool, and were topped with a perforated metal liner to produce the best sound absorption.

The Solution

B&K Structures supplied and installed over 7,500 linear metres of glulam beams and just under 16,000m2 of large timber roof cassettes with pre-installed gutters. The Sky Central building is the largest timber roof cassette projects in the UK.

The timber cassettes were manufactured and assembled offsite in controlled factory conditions. This improved the health and safety aspects of the build, enabling work to be done at ground level rather than at height, which is not only safer but permits a higher level of accuracy.

The rapid rate of installation proved beneficial to this project with up to 600m2 of timber cassettes erected per day, without compromising quality or efficiency. Detailed research and development positively contributed to building physics, ensuring actual onsite performance met design expectations.

Awards

The Sky Central development has been awarded the Best Corporate Workplace and Best of the Best Awards by the BCO as well as Best Built Workplace in the NLA Awards. The project was also shortlisted as the Best Project of the Year (£50m+) in the Construction news Awards as well as for the Offsite Award for Best Commercial Project and Best Use of Timber.

Sky has created a genuinely and hugely dynamic working environment for its team in Sky Central in Isleworth, according to the BCO judges. Housed beneath a spectacular and light enhancing structural timber ceiling, the judges said the large floor plates break down into a series of spaces that are varied, individual and yet unified. They added that despite housing up to 3,400 people, the overarching sense is one of calm, productive collaboration and creativity that is entirely suited to the nature of Sky’s media-led business.

British Council for Offices
Download Case Study PDF