The Grade II listed building at No.5 and 1960s building at No.6, were the seedbeds of aspiration for mining giant, Rio Tinto, who redeveloped the prime West End properties into high end grade A office space and private apartments.
Sir Robert McAlpine
The highly sensitive conservation location and demand for premium quality presented a challenging proposition for us. Engaged by Sir Robert McAlpine, our scope of works was embracive and covered all the façade elements with the exception of the brickwork. This broad project remit meant our role in the delivery was pivotal with our services including leading the control of all major interfaces through the design phase through to liaison with Building Control and Westminster Planning Officers.
The project carried a number of complexities that needed careful consideration. As an 8 storey building with a steel frame, the speed of construction was quick and dictated that the installation on the facades was fundamental to achieve watertight dates and release the internal fit-out. Due to excessive deflections and a high volume of interfaces, stickwork curtain walling was utilised in the glazing zones with the finishes and cladding materials occurring once this was off the critical path. Of particular note is the courtyard area where a handset Portland stone façade was re-engineered as a rainscreen with all loadings taken back to the curtain walling to avoid multiple penetrations of the performance line. Another area of complexity was a stainless steel façade hung from the floor slabs and with large high specification curved glass units.
With the building watertight and sensitive finishing materials progressing, our focus switched to the detailing and completion of other complex areas such as 4-ply glass ramps, revolving and swing doors with architectural lattice work and architectural bronze cladding.
The accolades from the client team were fitting to what proved to be a challenging engineered solution. Completed on time and within a tight budget, the finish is stunning and sympathetic with its location and will stand as a hallmark for the profession in which it was delivered.