friargate square

Location: Derby
Client: Lowbridge (Derby) Ltd
Status: Planning consented 2009
Budget: £20 million

Designed as a ‘Grade A’ office space whilst being as flexible for a range of tenants, Friargate Square is currently the home of Derby Law School and provides the perfect environment for innovative and engaging teaching.

Demanding brief for new build in conservation area
Friar Gate Square is a new landmark building situated adjacent to the Inner Ring Road, immediately to the west of Derby City Centre. While fronting a major vehicular thoroughfare, its site also abuts the historic Friar Gate Conservation Area and incorporates the listed Friar Gate Bridge, once part of the Great Northern Railway. 

Carefully stepped massing conceals the volume
The scheme responds to these competing pressures through a crafted massing that is sensitively scaled to limit its apparent bulk, so as to not be visible above the roofs of Friar Gate, while simultaneously asserting its presence along the Ring Road.

Materiality and detailing reference historic site
Copper ‘wraps’, detailed with raised batons, express the movement of the rail tracks that once criss-crossed the site. 

Passive sustainability integral to the design 
The depth and orientation of the plan are designed to optimise the buildings inherent sustainability. Situating the principal elevations on an east-west orientation maximises the natural daylight to the offices throughout the day, while floors of narrow depth and tall ceilings balance the need of floor space with the penetration of natural light and ventilation into the centre of the plan. The curtain wall system incorporates horizontal and vertical solar shading as demanded by orientation, minimising heat gain in the high summer sun, while acting as a light shelf to maximise light penetration in the low winter sun.

Glass Canvas
illustrative site plan
visual - building reads as an assembly of elements to the rear of the listed terrace
visual - route from agard street opened up through the site
visual - courtyard and route through site provides access to offices
model - massing has been articulated to reduce the apparent bulk of the scheme
aerial of the site prior to redevelopment
views around the site showing the surface parking before redevelopment
visual - looking south along ford street