The proposal was to change the use of the building from an office to a high end restaurant and bar complex in the form of a Member’s Club. The building lay in a vacant state with only basic maintenance undertaken.
There were a number of engineering challenges on the project, including:
- The detailed assessment of the Victorian era timber roof with King Post trusses, to avoid the need for wholesale intervention. This involved considering partial fixity at connections and buttressing of the supporting walls. The repair of the trusses was undertaken using traditional timber scarf jointing.
- The extensive analysis of the 200 year-old trussed-girder timber floor beams to cater for a change in use. This required a thorough assessment of design assumptions and loadings to remove any conservatism, aswell as clear management of client expectations. This employed the use of state-of-the-art dynamic testing technology to justify additional capacity in the floor and avoid significant amounts of strengthening. Select beams were strengthened using a bespoke post tensioned bowstring truss.
- The appraisal of the original stone cantilever grand staircase and the discovery of full depth hairline cracks, aswell as the subsequent repair and analysis of the stair.
- A laser point-cloud survey was used to develop a fully coordinated BIM model which not only enabled close coordination between disciplines, but also provided a detailed record of the asset, aiding discussions with Historic England and enabling highly accurate specification of repairs.
Given the Listed status of the project, Listed Building Consent was required for most proposals, including temporary works. We worked closely with the architect to compile all of the relevant information for submission to Westminster City Council planning department, producing explanatory reports and held meetings with the planning officer and the Historic England engineers.
Architect: Blair Associates Architecture