Team: Bilkay Begüm Peker, Ka Po Yung, Maria Andre Osoy, Nur Kayali

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Concept diagram

The aim of the project is to create visions of sustainable living and working in central London by taking into account the specificities of climate, site, building type, materials and occupancy uses.

Following the increasing population of King’s Cross, the design research proposes a 1.4 ha mixed-use development. The site is owned by Ted Baker and the British Airways Pension Fund (BAPF).

The redevelopment scheme consists of offices, residential complex, and outdoor open spaces for public use. The Sun canyon wants to promote a healthy lifestyle where the occupants learn how to improve the building’s performance and interact with its adaptive strategies.

Sun Canyon design process

The proposal integrates passive strategies for warm and cold periods, low energy appliances, green open spaces to prevent heat island effect as well as to promote biodiversity, nature and the use of open public spaces. This helped to achieve a design that responds to its bio climatic surroundings. The project increases the quality of indoor spaces and its energy performance as well as providing diverse activities throughout the building spaces.

Courtyards or “Sun Canyons” provide both natural lighting and natural ventilation in the indoor spaces. These courtyards enhance wind flow generating the necessary air exchanges needed to achieve thermal comfort in residential dwellings and offices. In the residential area the main corridor is open and exposed to this courtyard to allow residences to have a direct and good cross ventilation system on each dwelling.

The cascading effects have different sizes of green roofs located on the platforms. Dwellings, offices and retail have access to these terraces. This not only enhances biodiversity in the site but also prevents the heat island effect created by large impermeable and dry surfaces in the urban area. The green roofs also aids interior thermal comfort of the dwellings.

The purpose of the wind analysis is to understand how the built form interacts with the south-west prevailing wind. Sun Canyon was designed following the south-west prevailing wind and enhancing its accessibility to the indoor spaces.

The large opening at the center is designed to provide natural breezes flowing from surrounding context without obstructing the dominant south-west wind flow. Moreover, the orientation of such open space along with the cascading built form (deeper plans on lower floors, slimmer plans on high floors) have helped reduce the possibility of wind trapping within the site. Thus, with the center large open space as the feature of Sun Canyon, the built form has helped to avoid the clustering of strong wind streamlines or wind turbulence.

The wind analysis is simulated on 5/F residential to analyse indoor wind flow pattern and to validate if cross ventilation is possible. With operable windows installed on exterior facade and windows on opposite walls of individual units adjacent to the central courtyard, prevailing southwest wind can flow into the central courtyard via.

In the open space of Sun Canyon, 40% of annual daytime hours can be achieved, the outdoor courtyard can attain at least 10% of annual daytime hours. Besides, overshadowing studies were performed to avoid solar obstruction on one another’s facade. This is optimal for potential daylighting into buildings.