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Hybrid design transforming the site of famous London department store

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A £50M high-quality commercial and retail scheme is being created on the site of the former Pontings department store at 127 Kensington High Street, in west London.

“The store was demolished and replaced with two newer structures in the 1970s and 80s. We have retained approximately 30% of these buildings and infilled and extended areas with a new steel frame, while also constructing two additional floors to the footprint,” said ISG Project Director Raymond Faulks.

This hybrid design, which combines steel and concrete elements, both of which reuse the existing foundations, is said to be creating a very economical scheme.

Overall, the new steel frame represents around 40% of the scheme and helps to extend part of the new building to its new five-storey height.

Targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the scheme will accommodate commercial space on all floors, with retail taking up the majority of the ground floor.

As well as creating new floors, steelwork is also being used to restore the historic street line along both the Kensington High Street and Wrights Lane elevations. The previous buildings were set-back from the original basement walls, creating wider pavements. This unnecessary feature is being rectified with the addition of new steelwork to the retained portions of the structure. A new façade line over the original basement walls is adding 1.5m to the width of the building.

Bourne Steel is the project’s steelwork contractor and the scheme is due to complete in late 2021.

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