48 Leicester Square

London W1

Temporary Works: Façade retention
 John F. Hunt Demolition Ltd
Project value: £200m

In late 2013, CDS were appointed by John F Hunt Demolition Ltd. to carry out the temporary works design on this prestigious project to provide 95,000 sq ft new Grade A offices over seven floors and 17,000 sq ft of retail space in the heart of the West End.

48 Leicester Square is a famous historic landmark on a 30 x 55m island site and encloses the west side of Leicester Square. The building was once headquarters to the Automobile Association. The steel framed and stone clad building that occupied the site was constructed in three phases in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1950’s and has many attractive features.

The project involved the retention of the 20m high four-sided façade. Client requirements meant that the support towers could only be located in certain areas and any horizontal trusses used were to be self-supporting and not reliant on support from the perimeter scaffold. The structural steel façade retention scheme, designed by CDS, comprised five braced towers with three levels of horizontal trusses wrapping the building. Bracing was added to the existing steel frame at the corners of the building to provide additional support to the facade retention trusses.

Concrete kentledge was used to provide stability to the outer legs of the towers, while the inner legs were connected to a reinforced concrete beam which mobilised the weight of the façade itself to provide stability.

CDS also designed the tower crane foundation grillage, basement propping, the perimeter hoarding, the bracing required to remove a façade column for vehicle access into the building, as well as checking plant loading on the existing floors and completing ‘Approval-in-Principle’ submissions to Westminster City Council.