Client/Developer: City & West End, London
Architects: Squire & Partners
Main Contractor: Kier London
Value: £1.1 million
Type of works: supply and installation of loadbearing stone and brick-faced precast panels.p>
Just off Waterloo Bridge, on the corner of The Strand, stands this impressive seven-storey office block. To maintain the aesthetics of the neighbouring buildings, a Portland limestone facade was required, but considering the sites busy location, the contractor, Kier London, wanted to avoid the need for scaffolding that is usually associated with more traditional methods of cladding. Therefore, Decomo worked with architects, Squire & Partners, and structural engineers, Campbell Reith Hill, to come up with a stacked loadbearing sandwich-panel construction.
This particular type of precast cladding incorporated 40mm of rigid polyurethane insulation, sandwiched between 50mm of Portland stone, cast on a 70mm concrete-backing mix and a 225mm inner-structural concrete layer, all to produce one fully-finished and pointed panel to be delivered to site. The construction of each floor took around two weeks, and no external scaffolding was used by Decomo.
The principal of loadbearing sandwich panels is that the precast facades are erected as the building progresses up from the foundations, with the panels supporting the floors at the perimeter and reducing the need for additional structural columns at the facades.
On the rear elevations, facing the Savoy Gardens, brick-faced sandwich panels were supplied, incorporating a Lincoln Red brick slip in a stack-bonded arrangement. To add visual interest to The Strand facades, a design replicating the surrounding street map was carved into the surface of the Portland stone.