Broadgate Exchange House, London. Detail of facade showing parabolic segmented tied arches spanning the full 78m across the railway tracks entering Liverpool Street Station. Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Built 1990

Exchange House, Broadgate is special category of building as it is effectively an inhabited bridge. The building is a 10-storey office building spanning 78m over Liverpool Street Station. The building frame of Exchange House is supported on a primary structure of four parabolic segmented tied arches spanning the full 78m across the railway tracks entering Liverpool Street Station. Two external arches are visible and set 2m from the building façades and two internal arches pass through the offices and are exposed in the atria. Transverse, open-webbed beams span between the arches and vertical “columns” transfer the floor loads to the arches by either compression or tension, depending on their position.

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