Structural engineers set to transform iconic London building

Work has started on the structural renovation of iconic London landmark, 80 Strand, a Grade II listed building on the Strand, close to the River Thames. Our structural engineering team is working on behalf of client Strandbrook Ltd, with architects, PDP London, M&E engineers Chapman BDSP and contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, to transform the building for its tenants.

Built in the 1930s as Shell Mex House, HQ for the oil giants, the building was constructed with a grand entrance on the Embankment, and a service yard off the Strand. As patterns of movement and working practices have changed over the years, the entrance has shifted from the Embankment to the Strand, meaning that what is now the main entrance is too small. The building also has limited break-out space, and four floors are becoming vacant.

Our structural engineering team has led the design, geometry and structure for a new entrance pavilion. We called on our in-house architecture team to help us create a 3D model of the pavilion to define the structure’s geometry.  We have also designed two elegant new steel-framed two storey pavilions in a lightwell. While simple enough in themselves, forming the access into them required cutting through bridge trusses and large steel transfer beams. We have developed a design where the pavilions prop the existing structure, allowing the cuts to be made.

The design also included new rooftop terraces (which are not being implemented currently) and refurbishment of four office floors with exposed structure and services, as well as new cycle storage, shower and changing facilities in the basement. Our civil engineering team completed the underground draining design for the scheme.

This exciting project called on our knowledge of historic structures and experience of working on a wide range of listed buildings. It also demonstrated the value of being a multidisciplinary practice, able to call on support from our architecture team to bring skills that most structural engineers do not have. This flexibility has helped us meet the client’s high expectations. We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress on site!