4D visualisation shapes bold addition to London skyline


Digital technology including 3D modelling and 4D visualisation has played a key role in the development of One Crown Place on the boundary of the City of London

Sitting on the boundary of the City of London and Shoreditch, the £225m One Crown Place is a new development of 246 apartments, alongside flexible workspaces, shops and a boutique hotel.

Following a successful pre-construction phase, Malaysian infrastructure conglomerate AlloyMtd Group appointed Mace Group as main contractor for the scheme in March 2018 and it has proven a key step forward for the company’s digital construction know-how.

The project aimed to embrace the old-meets-new character of the City of London and Hackney, with One Crown Place representing a welcome contrast to the glass towers doting London’s skyline.

Designed by architect Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) to combine original heritage buildings with striking modern architecture, One Crown Place comprises two towers with 246 private apartments offering 360-degree views across the capital’s skyline.

To maximise views across the city and provide natural light for all residents, a number of design features have been implemented. Over 40 different layouts have been created to not only give the apartments a unique look and feel but to enhance the living quality. In addition, the towers are slightly turned inward, with the lift shafts located not at the building’s core, but in the corner of each tower, allowing for uninterrupted views into the internal courtyard.

In contrast with the modern architecture of the upper floors, One Crown Place is fronted by the last remaining complete row of Georgian terrace houses in the area. The terrace been completely restored and converted into a clubhouse for residents, along with a 41-room luxury boutique hotel. The scheme also includes 140,000 sq ft of office space and 7,000 sq ft of retail units.

The northernmost tower reached its full height of 27 storeys in August 2019, with the southernmost tower topping out at 33 storeys in January 2020.

Global property firm CBRE was appointed by AlloyMtd Group in 2015 to act as development manager, to sell the site’s private apartments and lease commercial space.

Harnessing digital technologies

Mace used advanced digital technologies to trace progress across a 3D model of the project in order to coordinate complex works with multiple stakeholders, while also minimising disruption in what is a busy surrounding neighbourhood.

One of the most complex parts of the building is the steel truss load system that transfers the weight of the two concrete towers on to the steel frame that makes up the base of the building.

The trusses weigh a total of 650 tonnes and transfer the load across the columns and down to the piles.

This unique engineering challenge required exceptional collaborative working from the entire design, engineering and construction teams.

To demonstrate the challenging installation sequence before work began on site, Mace developed an interactive 4D visualisation model that allowed all the teams involved in the project to better understand the engineering challenges and develop a solution to get it right the first time.

The exposed steelwork of the trusses is also part of the interior architecture, bringing the engineering into living spaces.

Speaking at the topping out ceremony for One Crown Place, Gareth Lewis, CEO for construction at Mace, said: “After working on the construction phase of One Crown Place, we’re proud of what we have achieved so far and thrilled to celebrate this project milestone on schedule. This project represents a complex construction challenge; and I’m very proud that our hard work will deliver such an iconic new skyscraper for London.”

One Crown Place is scheduled for completion in 2021.



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