Hidden by protective sheeting for almost two years, St Catherine’s House on the corner of Kingsway and the Aldwych in London has been renovated and restored by Kvaerner Construction.
Behind a retained Portland stone and granite façade which is 100 metres long, 30 metres high and dates back to 1915, the company has demolished St Catherine’s House, the former home to births marriages and deaths registration, and constructed a new office development.
The £30 million 22,000-square metre building has nine storeys and a new basement, making it one floor taller than the original St Catherine’s House. Construction of the building was complicated by its proximity to busy roads that could not be closed throughout the project, the London Underground network and its neighbours.
A tight construction programme was met by splitting the building into three sections. While demolition work started at the top of one section, piling for foundations, a basement and temporary works was carried out in another area.
Kvaerner Construction, working for Inassist Ltd, designed and installed intricate temporary works to support the massive retained façade. These were valued at £1 million alone and were constructed to fit into the existing structure as well as the new one being built around them. The façade was finally tied into the new frame of the building which consists of more than 2,000 tonnes of steel. The façade has since been cleaned and fully restored.
Throughout the contract Kvaerner Construction has protected its neighbour, the London School of Economics, from noise and vibrations with specially-designed acoustic screens which covered the whole of one side of the building. Designed in-house by Kvaerner Technology, these were made with insulation sandwiched between plywood boards.
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