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Expedition was appointed to provide structural engineering design with Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners for the scheme design of extension works to The Berkeley hotel. The key challenge was the need to minimise disruption to occupancy and revenue in this five star hotel. Through close dialogue with the project manager and the hotel management we developed a construction sequence that would allow the hotel to remain open throughout the works.

Alongside the main extension, the team was tasked with creating a light and modern, statement entrance, sympathetic to the original 1970’s, stone-clad façade and streetscape.  The team developed an elegant carbon fibre and stainless steel glazed structure, which cantilevers five metres beyond bar extensions.

The use of carbon fibre is highly innovative, and whilst the choice of this exclusive material was primarily driven by the aesthetic vision, the engineering design makes full use of the unique attributes of this high performance composite material.


In the absence of design codes or guidance for using carbon fibre for buildings, we researched extensively with experts in the UK racing industry, and instigated a series of prototypes and tests to demonstrate quality, performance and suitability of the material under sustained loading working closely with the specialist façade contractor, Bellapart, to deliver the finished structure.

The geometry of the carbon fibre beams was sculpted along their length to structurally optimise the material use: providing a dramatic form to showcase the unique finish quality of this material. The carbon fibre was manually laid-up in fabrication providing scope for further optimisation through layering and orientation to respond to the stresses in the section. Careful detailing permitted use of a single mould for all sixteen beams. A family of bespoke, machined components in stainless steel were designed to elegantly connect these carbon fibre elements and integrate with carbon fibre V-bracing to form the ten-metre transfer truss over the entrance opening.

The carbon fibre also permitted a single beam to be used without concern for thermal bridging and heat loss as it passes from the external cantilever canopy into the new internal spaces – adding to the environmental performance of the structures.

The canopy and new rooms facing the church feature in this short film.


Chris Wise
Bruce Martin
Eva MacNamara
James Parker

Client: Mayborne Hotel Group

Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Specialist Facade and CFRP Contractor: Bellapart

Facade Engineering (Glass): Arup Facades

Status: Complete

Berkeley Hotel, London