The Broadway Leaf In Detail

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The Broadway Leaf In Detail

Post by Mr007 on Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:19 am

The Broadway Leaf In Detail

Published on 08-10-2007 by
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The Broadway Leaf isn't a nickname given to a proposal by the press, it's a real name penned by those working on the Foster and Partners penned project that is actually apt enough to stick thanks to the striking appearance of the tower which makes it deserve a detailed look.

Situated in Ealing, the Leaf stands one of the most challenging sites in London straddling a railway raising the question of just how you can build a tall building overhead and keep it original. This is done via two legs in the shape of an inverted V at the base that stand either side of the tracks transferring the weight of the building down on them whilst keeping the space under free so that it can be used as a public square. The three levels each side of this are to be used as offices totalling 704.1 square metres.

The V shaped arch finishes four floors above the ground where a central core rises above for most of the building height finishing at the top floor. The floor immediately above the central point of the arch will contain a restaurant of 497.8 square metres.

Rising above this is the main bulk of the building containing 158 flats - 14 studios, 30 one bedroom apartments, 65 two bedroom apartments, 47 three bedroom apartments and 2 penthouses.

It's here on the east and west sides that the visual strength of the diagonals that are shaped by the arch are truly revealed with the structure clearly expressed via anodised aluminium cross bracing standing in front of the glass cladding as the shape bulges out and then tapers in to the top.

On the narrower south and north ends there is also tapering but they are kept free of bracing allowing balconies on each level allowing outside space for all but the smallest 30% of apartments.

Despite the overall fusion of organic and futurism on display by the design, the exposed north face of the central core from the 32 floor upwards is the part that reveals itself most as being designed by Foster and Partners. They've produced an almost scientifically clean look with smooth glass panelling over the anodised aluminium more fitting a laboratory design.

The hiring of Foster and Partners has been a deliberate ploy by the developer to bring in a well known starchitect with a good reputation - Ealing is considered one of the leafy suburbs of London and doesn't really have tall buildings in it right now. There is well organised local opposition against such developments which invariably sees almost anything as close as even ten floors thrown out.

Combined with the distinctive design, Foster and Partners, the developer hope that the glistening name of the architect will go some way towards placating the NIMBYs who are likely to howl in vast numbers at the thought of anything so large in their own back yard.

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