Contractor: Exa Group
Value: £10 million
Perega has provided structural engineering consultancy for Gucci’s new London flagship store which has taken up residence on New Bond Street, in a Grade II listed former art gallery.
A complex project, requiring a great deal of skill and attention to detail, as well as an understanding of working in historic buildings, the project architects Hyphen, approached Perega to provide structural design and consultancy services.
Our team knew it would be a challenging project from the outset given the listed-status of the building. The work required was extensive and intrusive, encompassing the entirety of the site. First and foremost, our engineers concentrated on installing two new steel lift shafts, before creating openings in the existing walls to facilitate the movement of shoppers within the new Gucci layout.
The shafts required the reformation of an existing concrete slab at its top, to accommodate the lift machinery. This became quite a complex task as previous sets of modifications, which had not been done to a particularly high standard, had to be accommodated.
Then our team designed the structural works to facilitate the removal of one of the site’s existing staircases, filling in the void left to create more floorspace within the shop’s interior.
A new plant deck had to be designed and installed on the roof to accommodate the building’s new plantwork. This particular task tested the mettle of our engineers as the deck had to be supported off the existing historic structure. This meant they had to expose the building’s beams and columns on-site, and check they had enough load capacity, leading to some being reinforced to adequately support the deck.
A load assessment was subsequently undertaken for the filler joist floors across the building, to make sure they were able to bear retail loads. This included checking the floor capacity was sufficient to accommodate various fit-out elements and cabinetry.
Every investigation uncovered new, previously unknown quantities, which had to be addressed as they arose. For example, defects within the masonry, including cracking were discovered and resolved, whilst historic rust-ridden steel beams has to be strengthened to prevent structural compromise.
Finally, a new hoarding, which had been specified for the site was unusually heavy, leading to an assessment from our team. This resulted in temporary beneath-pavement propping being introduced to support the load before it was installed.
The new store as a whole perfectly demonstrates our unique skills in enabling retail and heritage to seamlessly combine in one space.