Landmark scheme on London’s Ropemaker Street completes

22 April 2024

Old Park Lane Management’s (OPLM’s) landmark new commercial development at 20-22 Ropemaker Street has reached practical completion.

Rising 128 m above Moorgate, the building punctuates Islington’s skyline with its striking truncated design. The project has delivered 450,000 sq ft of Grade A, BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and WELL Platinum-certified offices, along with 10,000 sq ft of premium retail units and 17,000 sq ft of external amenity space, seeing the 26-storey tower become the London Borough of Islington’s largest ever project. The scheme’s basement levels also incorporate 800 bike storage spaces, along with shower and changing facilities and a bike maintenance hub, all accessed via a dedicated entrance.

In a recent statement, James Cooksey, Chief Executive at OPLM, said: “20 – 22 Ropemaker demonstrates the demand from the capital’s major occupiers for well-connected workspaces that prioritise the wellbeing of its people.”

Working alongside Make Architects, development manager, CO-RE and principal contractor, Skanska, Waterman’s team provided structural, geotechnical and environmental consultancy services for the scheme. We also liaised with Network Rail, Crossrail, London Underground and party wall consultants to ensure the smooth delivery of the development at this bustling location.

To facilitate demolition of the existing buildings, our geotechnical specialists developed a detailed ground engineering model which was integrated with the piling and structural BIM model to provide predicted ground movements and the impact on third party assets.

The exceptional office spaces have been fully let to multinational law firm Linklaters and Pension Insurance Corporation. Our structures team worked alongside OPLM, CO-RE and Make architects to incorporate tenant requirements into both the building contract and enabling works, bringing all required enhancements up to RIBA Stage 4 in a very short timeframe.

Our infrastructure and environment specialists successfully closed out all demolition and enabling works planning conditions relating to Network Rail, Crossrail, London Underground and Thames Water. To deliver this, we planned and executed a ‘submission and approval’ strategy to suit the construction programme. Submissions for these key approvals were based on our iterative foundation design, responding to specific structural and geotechnical aspects. The successful completion of this process resulted in significant savings for the piling scheme, reaping benefits in both costs and programme.

Our team were also heavily involved with the design development of the superstructure, with our structures specialists taking a flexible approach to effectively address a variety of procurement and fabrication challenges. Working collaboratively with Skanska and their preferred steel contractor, we incorporated changes to the superstructure framing, harnessing the contractor’s specialist fabrication processes. Construction programme benefits were made by adapting the form, constituent pieces and connections of the four Vierendeel south facing ‘ladder frames’ which provide lateral stability for the new structure.

Celebrating the scheme’s completion, Waterman’s Regional Director, Julian Traxler, said: “I’m delighted to see the ambitious development at 20-22 Ropemaker reach practical completion. This significant scheme perfectly demonstrates the role collaboration plays in delivering exceptional outcomes even at highly constrained sites such as this. The project saw the whole design team working together to deliver OPLM’s vision to create a landmark building focused on user experience, wellbeing and sustainability.”

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Images courtesy of Make Architects