• 5 November 2013

48 Leicester Square Gets Green Light

The £200m West End scheme has been given the green light by Westminster Council for its mixed-use redevelopment of communications house at 48 Leicester Square, London.

Waterman has been appointed by an overseas client and CORE, as Development Managers, to provide structural engineering consultancy services on the development, which was once headquarters to the Automobile Association.

Westminster Council granted planning approval in January 2013 to inspirational designs by Make Architects. Plans for the scheme include part demolition and reconstruction of the existing structure to provide a nine storey building, which will comprise 175,000ft2 of new commercial space on the upper floors and high end retail units on the ground, first and basement floors.

48-leicester-square_int1A striking feature of the new building is the glazed curved mansard roof sitting above the retained stone façade, which will form a new focal point on the west side of Leicester Square. The contemporary roof design is supported by a central core and new perimeter stanchions with complete column-free office space and spans of up to 12m providing very efficient floor space to appropriate market standards.

Waterman is providing a full complement of structural engineering services, including a technical assessment of the retained Portland stone façade. Scheme design was signed off by the client in June 2013 with detailed design progressing through to January 2014.

On-site investigations were undertaken by our engineers to expose the internal details of the perimeter structure. This has been done in parallel
with an archive search in the files of the Automobile Association and the London Metropolitan Archive. The research is uncovering architectural plans and photographs for the various phases of work which is proving to be invaluable with respect to the scope and output of the site investigations undertaken during the pre-construction period. The details will be used to inform the selected demolition contractor and the main contractor of the existing constraints during the tender and construction periods.48-leicester-square_int

Waterman will continue to design and prepare details using Revit 3D modelling techniques to capture the integration and interfaces of both
architecture and building services which will assist the future design and construction activities.

David Ainsworth, Director at CORE, said: “We are very pleased to be pressing ahead with this exciting project, a landmark in the area, and part of the transformation of this part of the West End.”

Demolition is expected to commence in January 2014 upon full vacant possession of the site, together with the remaining site investigation works in the retail areas. Completion is anticipated in early 2016.

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