Bonhams Auction House

London W1
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Knight Harwood
Quantity Surveyor
Gardiner & Theobald
Arts and Leisure
Heritage and Refurbishment

Project Scope

  • Curtain walling
  • Cladding (inc structural steel frame)
  • Terracotta brise soleil
  • Structural glass rooflights
  • Bronze shopfronts
  • Acoustic plant enclosure and louvres
  • Zinc copings

Project Awards

Blueprint Awards Shortlist (2014)

Building Project of the Year (£10-50m) Winner (2014)

RIBA National Awards Winner (2015)
RIBA Regional Award (2015)
RIBA J Schueco Excellence Awards for Design and Innovation Commendation (2015)

Bonhams is one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques and is recognised worldwide throughout all sectors of the fine art, antiques and collectors markets.

Key Challenges

  • Inner city environment with significant delivery challenges.
  • Integration with pre-cast panel manufacturer and M&E contractor with some complex interfacing challenges.
  • Totally bespoke structural glass rooflight glazing.
  • Large bespoke unitised elements.

The Brief

The new build auction house for Bonhams in Mayfair, London, had a number of key criteria. Locked into a tight space between New Bond Street and South Molton Street, the whole delivery process would be complex and challenging with a high standard of delivery required. Working alongside award winning architects Lifshcutz 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, the majority of it would require off-site fabrication that would enable a unitised installation but had the added benefit of ensuring that the high level of quality could be achieved this way.

Our Approach

Working on a design that was already at Stage D, the primary purpose of Colorminium’s involvement was to ensure that 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 had to be 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.

The Result

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.”