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Concrete Elegance: World class performers

Tue 4 Feb 2020, 6.30–8.45pm

The projects featured at this evening's Concrete Elegance lecture are both located in London and described as world-class facilities in their specialist fields of dance and medicine; the new English National Ballet and The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. The buildings also share an approach to the use of concrete structure, using its thermal mass to reduce energy use as well as using low carbon concrete.

The new home for the English National Ballet, located on London City Island, is designed by Glenn Howells Architects. The building is the ENB’s workshop, a place where it can rehearse in a production space on the scale of where it will perform, as well as providing seven further studios and medical facilities. The in-situ concrete is a 50% ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) mix and is in a mid-grey to match the colour of the precast concrete studio soffits. Three different finishes were used throughout the building to achieve the aesthetic, cost and performance requirements.

The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children, at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital is the world’s first purpose-built centre dedicated to paediatric research into rare diseases. The new facility, designed by Stanton Williams Architects, is organised around two connected ‘hearts’, an outpatient zone and a research zone, each planned around a daylit atrium. The clients wanted the Centre to be an ‘ideas factory’ and that helped inform the aesthetic – with plenty of exposed concrete and open spaces designed to encourage communication. The building was also designed with sustainability in mind and the use of post-tensioned slabs and exposed concrete walls and soffits is central to its BREEAM environmental rating of ‘Excellent’.

Speaking at the event will be the project engineers and architects who will shed light on the design and construction development, with a specific focus on the use of concrete, its specification and detailing.


From 6pm – Registration


6.30-6.35pm – Welcome by Elaine Toogood, The Concrete Centre


6.35-7.15pm – English National Ballet presented by

Dan Mulligan, Associate, Glenn Howells Architects

Martin McGrath, Deputy Group Managing Director, OCSC Multidisciplinary Consulting Engineers


7.15-7.55pm The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children, presented by

Gavin Henderson, Principal Director, Stanton Williams Architects

Andy Murray, Technical Director, Pell Frischmann


7.55-8pm – Audience Q&A


8-8.45pm – Drinks reception


The event is free but booking is essential.

Concrete Elegance is a celebration of contemporary concrete architecture, chaired by Elaine Toogood and produced by The Concrete Centre and the Building Centre. Supported by the Built Environment Trust. As this is a joint event between The Concrete Centre and Building Centre, your booking details for this event will be provided to both parties.


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Concrete Elegance Series