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55 Baker Street represents the radical reinvention of a 1950s office building that transforms the site into an important new urban centre that includes living, leisure and retail spaces along with an abundance of high-spec open plan office units.
The project progressed from an initial walk-through to an occupied building in less than three years. This rapid redevelopment was only possible thanks to the engineering-led decision to re-use 70% of the original building structure. Targeted demolition was carried out to remove only the most constraining parts of the old building and replace them with new modern structures sympathetically inserted amongst the original, increasing the total floor area of the property by 30% to 56,000 m2.
The Baker Street frontage received a face-lift courtesy of the new glazed masks enclosing new atria within the old courtyards and, on arrival in reception, building users are greeted by the stunning entrance transfer structures – a pair of steel sculptures that replace 12 original concrete columns at ground floor supporting seven storeys overhead.
A row of 23 homes along the rear of the new development includes affordable housing units and was built using modern ‘twin-wall’ precast construction techniques with masonry facades to compliment the existing mews streetscape.
Re-using so much of the original building helped to minimise the environmental impact of the scheme, particularly in terms of reduced demolition waste and use of new construction materials. It is largely for this reason that the development achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.
Concrete Centre’s Sustainability in Concrete Award 2008
Commendation for the IStructE’s David Alsop Sustainability Award 2008
Structural Steel Design Awards Merit Certificate for the Transfer Structure
This project features in our piece on Transforming Buildings.
Client: London & Regional Properties
Contractor: BAM Construction (D&B)
Project Value: £150m
Status: Completed 2008