The award-winning headquarters of Ready Mix Concrete International (RMC) is threatened with demolition.

Pioneering living roof threatened with demolition

A planning application has been submitted to Runnymede BC for the award-winning office complex, designed by RIBA Royal Gold Medallist Ted Cullinan and completed in 1990, to be pulled down and replaced with terrace housing. RMC is regarded by many as one of Cullinan Studio's most important works and was one of the key projects considered when the decision was made to award him the 2008 RIBA Royal Gold Medal.

The RMC HQ ‘is the building in which the ideas that have always interested and inspired me are most thoroughly combined in a single work,’ notes Cullinan. Not only is the project, with its grass-covered roofs (when built, said to be the largest roof garden in Europe) and sunken courtyards, ‘a sympathetic master-stroke in rejuvenating a scarred, once green area,’ says a spokesperson for Cullinan Studio, ‘but it was also an iconic statement of the changing meaning and function of the corporate headquarters’.
 
Living-roof expert Gary Grant, of The Green Roof Consultancy, describes RMC HQ as ‘a pioneering example of what can be achieved on a green roof: a park on a building’. He urges that any replacement building should include a green roof ‘of equivalent size and functionality’.

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