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The Accessories Hall is the first phase of the transformation of the ground floor of Selfridges’ flagship London store. The project aimed to create an open and flexible retail space as envisaged by the store’s visionary founder, Harry Gordon Selfridge.
Expedition provided structural engineering for a range of structural interventions and installations, from modifications of the existing building, to bespoke shop floor fixtures. The most visible of these are the 3m tall glazed screens which separate concessions whilst maintaining transparency across the whole space. Their elegant steel frames were developed through close collaboration within the design team, which was essential to create a delicate aesthetic and resolve the many individual details and connections.
The screens cantilever from the floor to maintain an open space at high level. In response to the construction and condition of the existing floor slab, which is built from reinforced concrete with clay hollow pot void formers, we developed screen bases that sit above the slab. This strategy had the added benefit of reducing the risks associated with on-site discoveries. The 2m x 1m reinforced concrete bases fit within the slim finishes build up, to have minimal impact on the final finished floor levels.
The design team used workshops, mock-ups, and a factory visit to work with the specialist screen fabricator to resolve the bespoke details of the screens. The client’s feedback on the mock-ups was then used to refine the final design.
The Selfridges north-east compartment building is a 1930s steel frame construction. Designing the primary structure repairs and the new mezzanine floor involved evaluation of archive drawings, surveys, and historical design codes to understand the building’s behaviour and structural capacity. This minimised the extent of the structural interventions required to achieve the project aims.
The first phase of the Accessories Hall, in the north-east compartment of the Selfridges ground floor, opened in November 2016, with further phases to extend the space currently underway. This significant element of Selfridges’ wider Duke Street redevelopment was featured in publications including The Guardian and The Architects’ Journal.
Architect: David Chipperfield Architects
Main Contractor: Portview
Status: Phase 1 Completed 2016
Professional photographs copyright Lewis Ronald for Selfridges