Awarded the American Institute of Architect’s prestigious 25-Year Award for 2015, the Exchange House speaks of an ingenious architectural system that exquisitely brings together function and aesthetics in the mid-century modernist tradition. While the Eames House in California, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Louvre in Paris are among the other recipients of the same award, the Exchange House remains the only architectural building in the United Kingdom to have been given the distinguished recognition as well as the only 1 of 4 outside of the United States.

Despite the city’s rising demand to develop office buildings with large financial trading floors, many factors posed some challenges to the development of the Exchange House. The medieval street pattern, the intricate intersection of railway lines, and the lack of opportunity to place structure between the lines were among the various factors that created difficulties for the building’s development.

Fortunately, the original designers of the Exchange House, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) was able to visualise an opportunity through the striking space carved out by the rail infrastructure serving the Liverpool Street Station. With their holistic approach grounded on state-of-the-art engineering, architecture, and master planning, SOM was able to resolve the challenges and create a stunning centerpiece of the Broadgate development in the Exchange House.

Today, Exchange House demonstrates the spectacular fusion of technology and architecture with its unique design and form, highlighting that exposed steel bridge that spans the 78-meter-long rail yard of the Liverpool Street Station. Its graceful relationship with the Victorian engineering of the station’s roof structure and its prime location in an otherwise heavily populated part of the city that is leisurely speckled with art and seating areas, bars and restaurants, among many others, makes its well-deserving of the AIA 25-Year Award for having helped set a precedent for architectural superiority.

Just as massive as the name and the structure Exchange House is was the number of challenges and constraints Dolphin had to overcome and resolve with the undertaking. And working with the renowned architectural group Piercy & Company, Dolphin managed to successfully complete the commercial washroom refurbishment project, meeting the client’s specifications to a T.

Among the long list of specifications that the client specifically wanted to be implemented in the refurbishment of the commercial washrooms was ensuring that the overall aesthetic design of the finished project was on par with the avant-garde architectural style of the building. Hence, the vanity countertops design with the exposed steel framework resonates with the skeletal arches that form part of the building’s unique frame.

The Exchange House Project likewise posed a challenge in terms of the placement and implementation of the DS800 Dolphin Foam Soap Cartridge Multifeed System. The client required the multifeed soap system placed in the cleaner’s cupboard for easy access for the maintenance staff for more efficient cleaning or maintenance purposes. It could not however be installed adjacent or behind the mirror on the vanity area since a floating mirror and vanity design had already been put forward earlier prior to the start of the project.

Fortunately, Dolphin Solutions was able to successfully work through the design, layout, and space challenges and constraints that the project presented. They had the DS800’s soap pipe strategically laid out on floor level and underground to run up into a wall cavity to an access panel for the maintenance staff.

Other critical steps had to be considered with the layout, such as having the end vent pipe placed considerably higher than the DS800 soap cartridge to prevent overflows as well as for easy removal of congealed soaps or replacement of pipes when necessary. Two cartridge systems had to be installed for every washroom with the Exchange House Project, with each of the soap cartridges feeding 1 run of panel-mount soap dispensers.

Part of Dolphin’s proposal for the Exchange House assignment was the inclusion of the Dolphin team itself in the installation team to guarantee that its proprietary design guidance was to be implemented in undertaking the entire project.

The Exchange House Project turned out to be a complete success with Dolphin’s innovation in commercial washroom excellence clearly reflected in the refurbished commercial washroom.

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Broadway Development
Piercy & Company