• 15 May 2016

New Watford redevelopment

We are delighted to have been appointed to work on what promises to be an exciting new shopping and leisure experience for the people of Watford and surrounding areas. The redevelopment and extension of intu Watford will cost £178m to create a single £1.4m ft2 retail and leisure destination.

A significant proportion of the existing Charter Place development adjacent to intu Watford is currently being demolished to make way for a new mixed-use scheme which comprises of 16 retail units, a new department store, 11 restaurants and a 9 screen cinema. The existing multi-storey car park, market hall and distinct YMCA tower are to remain with some significant structural adaptations required to integrate them into the new scheme.

intu-watford_intThe proposed scheme, designed by Leslie Jones Architects, is formed of 3 separate blocks namely cinema, leisure and existing areas, all linked with a new feature roof.

Waterman’s role on the project extends to a number of areas. Our structures team have been appointed by intu to develop the scheme to Employers Requirements stage and will retain a Client side monitoring role. Our Infrastructure and Environment team is providing geo-environmental services, archaeology, flood risk and drainage design.

The existing shopping centre was built using a concrete framed structure. Our team developed significant alternations to the retained parts of the primary frames which include adaptations to existing stability cores and the lowering of part of the current floor plates. We also conducted extensive design modelling to evaluate the potential movements of the building elements during the construction phase and after completion.

The new scheme is to be of composite steel frame construction. Stability is achieved through a combination of stiff core walls and moment frames due to the leisure uses requirements for open floor plates and the inability to introduce any braced bays.

There is a listed building within the development, situated on the High Street, which requires its façade to be retained. Our team reviewed the existing structural form to evaluate how to best integrate the old façade into the new scheme proposals.

intu Watford is a complex site within a live town centre environment. It is built over the service yard which provides vehicle access into the intu Watford development. The yard has to be fully operational at all times which has influenced our programme and the extent of demolition to the existing ground floor slab and overall construction methodology including sequencing and temporary works design.

Keltbray are currently undertaking initial demolition and enabling works on the site. Laing O’Rourke are the main contractor responsible for the renovation and extension works under a PCSA agreement and these are expected to be completed at the end of 2017.

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