One Blackfriars, London

    London, England, United Kingdom

Project Summary

One Blackfriars, London is a mixed-use complex located near the southern bank of the Thames River that includes a residential tower, low-rise hotel, and a three-story basement with a pool, spa, cinema, and other amenities. WSP worked with their client St. George to build and design the project. The biggest project challenge was the unique geometry of the residential tower. To develop the structural framing that would maximize apartment layouts, every floor had to be a different size and shape. The project team needed to design the optimal layout for the building, as well as easily share and make changes when new information became available.

WSP used Bentley’s RAM Concept to model and design 225-milimeter-thick post-tensioned concrete floors. This optimal thickness maximized floor-to-ceiling heights in the apartments. RAM Concept also helped the team make accurate predictions of concrete behavior, testing the strength of the design. Then, once the design was completed, the team easily shared the structural drawings with the remainder of the design team through MicroStation.

The designing capabilities in RAM Concept allowed the team to figure out the thinnest possible concrete floors while keeping the building structurally sound, providing the largest floor-to-ceiling heights and increasing the value of the units. The team also saw a 10 percent savings in the amount of concrete used, reducing the overall weight of the structure. Additionally, the team easily modified the design from the initial proposal stage through construction. By using MicroStation, the project team sent structural drawings to the architect, client, contractor, and quality surveyor for approval and pricing. This practice increased communication and efficiency while also reducing time spent waiting for responses. When completed, the project will inspire other designers to push limits and will also promote London as the capital for world-class architecture and engineering.

WSP used RAM Concept’s meshing algorithm for reliable predictions of how the design would withstand wind and other environmental factors, as well as fulfill compliance with European design codes. This capability let the team see how changes would affect the overall structure before construction, saving time, money, and resources. MicroStation facilitated streamlined communication among the design team, contractors, and stakeholders, enabling design options to be studied in a short period of time.

Project Playbook: MicroStation, RAM

  • WSP used Bentley applications to overcome the challenges of One Blackfriars’ unique geometry.
  • RAM Concept helped the team design the optimal concrete floor thickness in its residential tower, saving the amount of resources used.
  • By optimizing floor thickness, the team maximized floor-to-ceiling space, increasing apartment value.
  • Designs were easily shared through MicroStation, allowing for efficient communication among all parties.
  • “Bentley's RAM Concept and MicroStation software packages enabled WSP to design and deliver one of the most iconic projects in Europe. The software was effectively used to coordinate and design cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for the benefit of the client and local community. The project stands proud as a centerpiece for architectural and engineering excellence.”

    Aret Garip Technical Director WSP UK