The Piazza Building, Mercia Marina, Willington

Restaurant, Retail and Office Development, Willington

The Brief
On the back of receiving a regional and national Local Authority Building Control (LABC) award for the Boardwalk Development at Mercia Marina, bi Design was given the brief to design the Piazza building to sit seamlessly along-side our award-winning building, but also provide enough office floor area to allow Bionical to relocate their head office. The new building’s internal layout could not be fixed either until tenants were agreed on all floors so retailers and businesses, could have flexibility on the amount of floor area they required.

Our solution
With the Boardwalk building, bandstand, and customer car park already in use it was essential to design a building that could be constructed with minimal disruption to the current businesses, but created enough floor area, without over-developing the peninsula. The existing Boardwalk building is two-storeys with a low-pitched roof, part of the design challenge was to create enough upper floor accommodation for the offices, without making the building too dominant over the Boardwalk.
In order to achieve this the roof pitch of the new building was steepened to allow space for a second floor within the roof. Three wings were created around the central tower, with glazed gable ends on each wing to complement the Boardwalk, and allow great views over the marina from the 2nd floor. The roof of the tower was inspired by the bandstand which has a five-sided projecting gable roof. The tower is similar to 4 projecting gables. The three wings are connected to the tower below three of the four gables, leaving the front gable exposed, as a prominent feature of the external piazza area.

The outcome
The new building relates well with the peninsula, the existing bandstand, and the Boardwalk building. The use of matching materials, including the specially designed heat-treated timber cladding, and Marley Rivendale slates helps tie the structures together. Sat on the peninsula the building has commanding views all the way around the Marina. Each wing offers very different views looking out towards the boats and surrounding landscape.


bi Design were very pleased when the Piazza building was shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Large Commercial Building project category of the East Midlands LABC Building Excellence Awards 2019.

The shortlisting comes on the back of The Boardwalk development at Mercia Marina which was the LABC East Midlands Region and UK National winner for Best Small Commercial project in 2015.