To design a new Headquarters and business centre for Ordnance Survey on a site that was just 130 metres from a busy and noisy 6-lane motorway.
To prevent motorway noise entering the openable windows of the business centre, which houses the organisation’s commercial and public functions, the offices have been cloaked by a large flanking acoustic wall. This provides effective acoustic protection, whilst allowing the maximum environmental benefit from its natural ventilation system. Some 11.25m high at its southern end, the wall is built using a reinforced cantilevered concrete frame completely encased in Ibstock’s Priory Red brick. To maximise acoustic performance, the wall features a range of different and unusual texture effects, created by cutting, orienting and setting the bricks in different ways, against a matching terracotta mortar. To enhance the effect, and facilitate creation of the unconventional designs, all bricks were supplied without serial numbers and logos, and Ibstock’s Design Advisory Service assisted in the production of the many detail drawings needed to ensure a finished canvas consistent with the architects’ concept drawings.