The Exchange House
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The Exchange House is recognised as a building-bridge hybrid for the intricate engineering techniques that have been implemented in its architectural design. It made a name for itself by demonstrating the huge potential of innovation to create sustainable solutions in urban spaces around the world. This is the vision of the world-renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) which built this modern structure.
Exchange House exemplifies the sophisticated fusion of architecture and technology with its form and structure grounded on an exposed steel bridge that spans the 78-meter-long rail yard of the Liverpool Street Station.
This iconic building deserved a distinctive and timeless washroom design which required skill and expertise to match its special reputation. No project comes without its challenges, but with great minds working together the Dolphin team took this on with enthusiasm to achieve yet another successful project.
Working with Piercy and Co., Dolphin envisioned the overall aesthetic design of the washroom to be in sync with the avant-garde architectural style of the building. The concept was to refurbish it with an exposed steel framework that supported the vanity countertop which resonated with the structural arches that formed part of the building’s unique frame.
Carefully selected for this washroom was the DS800 Dolphin Foam Soap Cartridge Multifeed System, however, it was required to be placed in a housekeeping room for the facility staff to maintain or clean with ease. This posed the first challenge as the design also left no room to place the system next to, behind, or below the mirror and vanity due to the customised fittings already chosen for the project.
Whilst observing the building plan between the washroom and housekeeping room, the Dolphin innovation team brainstormed an idea to run the soap pipe under the floating floor across the washroom and up into a wall cavity. This would lead to an access panel where the facility staff could gain access.
To ensure the proposal was meticulously executed, the Dolphin team joined forces with the project’s installation team to guarantee the following design guidance was followed and implemented:
- The radius of conduit bends must be 150mm or more. The full cavity size should be exploited to create the largest radius of conduit possible.
- The conduit must be fixed and clamped to avoid movement, and all corners require a smooth radius to ensure the pipe can be fed through cleanly. The underground pipe should be straight and fixed before being set in concrete.
- Feeding the pipe through the conduit is tested before concrete or stud walls are constructed to ensure the pipe can be easily fed through from one end.
- The bottom of the DS800 must be above the dispenser and pumps, where the end vent pipe must terminate above the top of the DS800 by at least 100mm. From the access panel onwards, the pipe can have a slight gradient towards the vent pipe to help expel air.
- The use of continuous pipe (no fittings) where the pipe will be inaccessible.
The Exchange House commercial washroom project was a complete success. The refurbished washroom illustrates how Dolphin innovation can combine design, functionality, and sustainability presented in a simple yet ingenious structural system. This washroom is now an elegant reflection of the building’s unique architectural design and style.