Founded in 1793, Bonhams is one of the world’s largest and most renowned auctioneers of fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. With a heritage and reputation for connoisseurship and bespoke service known throughout the world, New Bond Street is a fitting location for their flagship London saleroom.
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Gardiner & Theobald
The new build auction house for Bonhams in Mayfair, had a number of key criteria. Locked into a tight space between New Bond Street and South Molton Street, the whole delivery process was both complex and challenging, with this inner city location requiring a high standard of delivery.
Working alongside award winning architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, the brief was to clad a complex RC frame with a blend of cladding materials including pre-cast concrete panels, structurally glazed elements, anodised cladding and terracotta.
Due to the logistical nature of the project, off-site fabrication was essential to enable a unitised installation but had the added benefit of ensuring that the high level of quality could be achieved.
Our involvement commenced during the design stages, to ensure that the designed intent was actually buildable. With a large area of the building clad in pre-cast concrete panels, the weathering lines and responsibility for interfaces was the first area to determine and once that was clear, we turned our attention to the system design. With a strong driver for minimal visual framing impact, it meant a number of bespoke extrusions and system building had to be utilised, whilst ensuring that the specified finishes could also be accommodated – this included some totally bespoke designs for unitised modules, structural rooflights and curved bronze entrance.
Once systems and finishes were clear and the proposals worked structurally, a heavy interface was required with the M&E consultants to ensure that the building performance was achieved. From lift shaft air extraction through to solar gain through rooflights and air sealing details around plenum extracts, the requirements were numerous and had to be catered for within the system build-up.
Following on from this, a sound approach to the methodology was investigated. This involved a number of road closures and crane lifts for large elements and had to be seamlessly sequenced with other trades – all within the constraints of the Mayfair environment.
A truly stunning building, that is commensurate with the level of attention to detail was achieved and the decision to award it the Building Construction Industry Award for Building Project of the Year in the £10-50 million pound category was fitting.
During the awards ceremony, the judging panel were effusive in their praise of the finished project describing it as “an impressive achievement in a difficult urban environment with operations continuing within the building, throughout the construction.” They were impressed with the speed of the construction, the attention to detail, flexibility and thought for the future use of the building.