Commercial: 16-18 Finsbury Circus & 18-31 Eldon Street, London

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Commercial Steel addition for listed buildings Two Grade II listed buildings are being restored, with a new steel- framed structure inside to provide a new stylish office block for central London. Martin Cooper reports. The retention of London’s historical architecture The main challenge is Stone facade and is today paramount in developers plans for new its main staircase buildings. Where once old buildings may have to knit new elements are key features succumbed to the demolition contractor’s wrecking of the building into of particular ball, many older buildings now have preservation architectural and orders and refurbishment is the order of the day. the retained existing historic interest Nowhere is this more evident than in the City of structure within the Grade II London where new office space is at a premium and listed building, and a number of recent developments have seen listed the main challenge is to knit new elements of the facades retained with a new - and sometimes higher building into the retained existing structure. Marrying new steel to old - structure erected behind. Overall the site originally contained three steel was considered as John Robertson Architects states that the interconnected buildings: the listed seven-storey the best option. redevelopment of 16-18 Finsbury Circus and the buildings on Finsbury Circus; 18-25 Eldon Street adjacent 18-31 Eldon Street is however much more which was a Victorian building and has been than a facade retention job. The design strategy completely demolished, and 26-31 Eldon Street, a is essentially the amalgamation of what were Portland stone faced Grade II listed building which FACT FILE three disparate buildings into one unified ‘ring of is being retained. 16-18 Finsbury Circus & development’ potentially creating one corporate The £50M scheme comprises 17,500m2 of offices 18-31 Eldon Street, London headquarters building. around a central atrium and 900m2 of retail space Main client: This project involves the redevelopment and fronting Eldon Street. This will create a new nine- Prudential Assurance restoration of two Grade II listed buildings in storey office block with basement covering the Architect: John Robertson Architects London’s Finsbury Circus Conservation Area. entire site. Structural engineer: The client, Prudential Assurance, was granted John Fuller, Project Manager for Bovis Lend Waterman Structures planning permission by the Corporation of London Lease says a steel frame for the new build section Main contractor: in February 2004 and was strongly supported by was initially looked at during the conceptual Bovis Lend Lease English Heritage and City Heritage. stage. “Overall using steel was considered as Steelwork contractor: The Finsbury Circus structure is a grand the best option,” he says. “Especially as the Bourne Steel Edwardian crescent terrace and was originally existing structure is steel framed, so steel to steel Project value: £50M Steel tonnage: 1,500t designed by Gordon & Gunton Architects in 1915 connections is a more practical solution. The choice and completed in 1926. The building’s Portland of steel assisted a quicker construction process.” 16 NSC October 2006


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