Selfridges: Duke Street Project
Large-scale renovation work to unlock the potential of Selfridges’ flagship retail store in London was designed and programmed with painstaking scrutiny of its potential impact on operation. Detailed forensic analysis and step-by-step planning enabled successful delivery of major civil and structural works in the ‘live’ retail environment of the busy store, at times just metres from customers.
Over its long history piecemeal alterations had created a complex structural arrangement that Expedition was tasked with analysing and unpicking before the ambitious proposals to remodel the store could begin. The end goal of creating a new customer entrance on Duke Street and improving access across the wider store could only be successfully achieved after a series of enabling works – some of them major structural interventions – had relocated existing obstructions and opened up the necessary space.
But the challenge of working on one of the oldest steel-framed buildings in the UK was increased significantly by the need to minimise the impact on customers and employees. Even large-scale basement and foundation construction work had to be planned and managed so that trading could continue without disruption.
Relocating the access for HGV deliveries was resolved by construction of a 50 m-long truss bridge within the store basement, improving the streetscape at the point where vehicles exit the lower ground logistics depot; a new escalator tunnel was built below it to give staff from the adjacent offices a dedicated route into the store.
As the structure was opened up in preparation for each phase, the site team had to deal quickly and calmly with any unexpected conditions as they were uncovered. Expedition had a member of staff on site throughout the work, which enabled us to react rapidly to changing conditions. Engineering judgement backed by detailed analysis allowed us to limit, and even in places eliminate the need for intrusive works, realistically managing risk without hampering progress.
We love solving the challenges that construction brings – a factor that was central to the successful delivery of this project. Developing designs for, and maintaining a close interest in the temporary works led to regular planning meetings with the contractor both in the preparation and delivery of the challenging construction phase.
We have greatly valued Expedition’s reliable and enthusiastic attitude and approach; they have done a great job working alongside us to minimise disruption within our flagship store.
Senior Manager, Selfridges