Magna Square, Egham, Surrey – Projects
- Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
- Places for People
- Egham, Surrey
Magna Square is a mixed-use masterplan in Egham, Surrey that acts as a catalyst for the regeneration of the local area. The proposals for four new buildings combine retail, leisure and residential facilities to increase the commercial value of the site. Elliott Wood worked with architect AHMM to realise a scheme that has a lasting positive impact on the growing local community.
The variety of uses within the scheme posed a unique challenge to developing a cohesive structural framing strategy, so we considered a number of options. Modular and volumetric schemes proved not suitable to the layout of the development, nor did they offer the future flexibility the client wanted. Steel framing wasn’t economical, as the column layouts would have to adjust to suit the residential floors, and steel would have complicated works for the cinema. These options also weren’t ideal for limiting acoustics and vibration for the residences above retail units. We therefore determined an RC frame on piled foundations for all four buildings was the best solution. Allowance for a blue roof system and an attenuation tank was also implemented to address a SuDs requirement.
The largest building on the site is Block C, which is occupied by ground-level retail, a first-floor Everyman cinema and residential units above. The most pressing technical challenge here was achieving a stringent noise-rating curve of NR5 in the residential space above the cinema. Normally cinemas are located in a ‘box’ system, but in this case that wasn’t sufficient to reach the required NR levels. Working with a specialist, Elliott Wood devised an innovative scheme that physically separated the levels – including the core and the columns – using acoustic breaks, bearing plates, and a secondary suspended floor above the third floor to hold the services for the flats.
Blocks A and B comprise retail units at ground floor and residential units on the upper floors. Together with Block C, these buildings provide 101 high-quality homes, 34% of which are affordable. Block D accommodates 100 student studios for the nearby Holloway University and provides parking facilities to the rear of the ground floor, over which Elliott Wood implemented a transfer structure. A new town square and wider pedestrianised public realm brings the buildings together and stitches the development into the local context.
Completed in 2021, the scheme acts as a welcoming new gateway from the train station to the town centre, uplifting the experience of everyone who lives, works and visits here.