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Yell House Renovation

Reading, UK

Working with Anthony Ingram Architects and Design we produced ideas to renovate a redundant w office building in central Reading and its adjacent street scape. The landscape was entirely over the deck of a large car park and had to accommodate existing light wells. A court yard between the office block and an existing hotel needs to have separate spaces but read as one. We proposed embedding the light wells in low planting and using pleached hornbeams so as not to obscure light to the lower deck and to contrast these with closely planted multi-stemmed birch trees. The Street adjacent to the buildings is a wind tunnel that we proposed could be alleviated by plating staggered bosques of trees that extended the courtyard into the street to assist in breaking up line and so encouraging people to linger in from of shops more comfortably. Roof gardens would provide open space for new residents and a living roof coupled with photo voltaic thermal arrays would, together, be part of a retrofitting for future climate change, dealing with some of the surface water attenuation and lowering carbon emissions. Treating supply and especially heating domestic water accounts for 6% of the UK carbon emissions, so utilising the roof to cut emissions and energy bills is eminently sensible. Water harvested for the roof surfaces at high and lower level would be used to irrigate the planting, and this in turn would provide evaporative cooling during the forecast  warmer summers to improve human comfort.

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