This is the new home to London’s historic Leathersellers’ Company, which was founded by charter in 1444. The existing building at St Helen’s Place was constructed in 1920, and its Portland Stone façade was reconstructed in the 1940s following damage sustained during WWII.

Year Completed:
2016
Building Metrics:
5,700 m2
£32m construction cost
Sectors:
Commercial
Client:
The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers

Architect:
Eric Parry Architects
Contractor:
Multiplex Construction Europe
Robert Bird Group Services:
Structural, Civil and
Construction Engineering

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

RBG provided full structural and civil engineering services for demolition of the existing structure, retention of the existing façade, and construction of the new facility. The key design considerations were the three-storey basement, which contains a double-height space for the Leathersellers’ Livery Company and was excavated immediately adjacent to a Grade 1 listed, 800-year-old church – necessitating complex temporary works. The façade required an extensive retention system that provided horizontal and vertical support during demolition of the existing building behind it, and construction of the replacement structure.

The vertical support aspect was particularly challenging, as the new basement was built beneath the retained façade. Our solution was to suspend the façade on needle beams and plunge columns until the permanent basement structure had been constructed.

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