Sandell Street, Waterloo, Tower Refurbishment

Sandell Street, Waterloo, Tower Refurbishment

Nick Willson Architects have been asked by the Union Jack Club on Sandell Street in Waterloo to update and refurbish their headquarters. The Union Jack Club is a private members club for serving and ex-serving military personnel of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. It also welcomes military personnel of various countries, together with the emergency services such as police, fire and ambulance, including the UK civil service and their families.

Our design concept is focused on communication and security. The common purpose of the members of the Union Jack Club is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public. A key operational similarity of these organisations is a reliance on excellent communications. A membership club also relies on communication, not only between its’ members, but also with the public, donors and the government.Radios play an important role in communications for emergency and armed services. Although there are many types of radios, they all contain the same basic components such as an internal antenna consisting of small diameter insulated copper wire wound around a ferrite core and a circuit board consisting of a copper clad pattern cemented to phenolic board. We have utilised the link between communication and copper elements to design a new copper clad canopy and lighting element that wrap around the entrance lobby ceiling, light wells and into the dark timber gallery. The entrance canopy effectively becomes a communicating antenna for the whole club, the canopy and lighting element representing the copper cables and electrical parts of a radio.