Spire London is a landmark development to establish Greenland’s reputation in the UK. The site is at the western end of the North Dock within West India Quay. The development will deliver 869 high-quality homes in a mixture of tenures within a bespoke 67-storey tower of exceptional quality. Extensive communal amenities include dedicated child-play space, gym, swimming pool and meeting facilities to deliver a high quality and sociable living environment. Flexible ground floor space and interactive landscape features help animate the public realm. The tower height is limited to 235m by the London City Airport flight exclusion zone.

Key Techinical Challenges

  • A 4m-thick piled raft spanning 14.5m over the Crossrail Exclusion Zone and supported on 2.1m diameter piles up to 70m long.
  • Development of a linked Y-shaped core to control lateral torsional response of the building.
  • Y-shaped transfer structure at eastern tip taking 60 floors of building load into two columns to avoid basement driving-aisle below. Circa 60MN of load through each system.
  • Axial strain shortening considerations accounted for column design to limit differential movement across the floor plates.
  • ‘Walking columns’ used at high levels to achieve terracing profile and minimise transfers to keep slab profile to 200mm typically

Technical Innovations

To achieve the extremely high required foundation capacities, piles of up to 2.1m in diameter extend to 70m below ground level into the underlying Grade A Chalk. To validate the pile design, two preliminary load tests using Osterburg Cells will be constructed and loaded to failure. This will be the first time in London where such tests have extended into the Chalk.

RBG redesigned the steel plunge columns enabling complex bracing arrangements and programme hold-points to be removed, hence simplifying excavation and improving health and safety. The ground floor slab was redesigned for significant construction loads and to prop the basement wall whilst maintaining a large void to allow the core to rise.

RBG also checked all permanent works elements for the temporary loads induced by the innovative construction sequence. The construction method further reduced the ground movements, thereby minimising the risk to sensitive network rail facilities adjacent to the site.

Project Metrics

Year Completed: 
Due 2020
Building metrics: 
No of apartments: 869
No of floors: 67
Height: 235m
Site area: 5300m2

Project Metrics

Greenland Hertsmere London Ltd
RBG Role:
Structural, Civil and
Geotechnical engineering design.