Maurice Investments wished to improve its property in Alie Street, maximising the lettable area of the building and renewing the interior. The company wanted high quality office space in a striking building that could hold its own against neighbours, such as the Royal College of Pathologists next door.
The project was a new departure for Area, involving structural alterations and additions that went far beyond the normal requirements of a Cat A refurbishment. The scope of works included enhancing the façade, removing a staircase, infilling the atrium, creating a new core area, and adding two new ﬂoors to the top of the building.
The success of the scheme depended on building close working relationships with the project team, notably, Gpad, Cluttons (project management) and Exigere (cost consultants). Area implemented Gpad’s contemporary concept for the building from shell and core, delivering a total refurbishment that included a two-ﬂoor steel frame extension on the roof.
Good communication, openness and mutual trust were essential to smoothing out the design and technical issues that inevitably arose during the course of such a complex project. We were able to draw on our in-house design and M&E resources for support where required. Logistics were a major challenge, as it was crucial for our subcontractors to deliver key items on time and to the required quality. Other issues revolved around the difficulties of bringing cranes and large quantities of steel into a small street and assembling the framework in a constricted space.
We solved this by careful planning of deliveries, and using agile cranes at roof level rather than a more traditional tower crane. The result is an impressive building, relaunched as Wool & Tailor, whose standout features include its terraces, façades and rear elevation with crittall style windows. The interior finishes are simple and low maintenance, without compromising the quality of the stylish new office space.
“For an office building in London, quality, prompt delivery, cost control and safety should all be a given. On this project, relationships were the key – it made all the difference. Buy-in from our subcontractors was also crucial. We visited them in their workshops and factories to ensure they really understood what was required.” - Project Director, Area