From tired 1970’s office and warehouse to premium office accommodation

Tenants are preparing to move into Narrow Quay House on Prince Street in Bristol following a major refurbishment and reconfiguration which has transformed the 5-storey building into premium office accommodation in a prime location. A far cry from the former dated 1970’s office and warehouse building.

The new occupants will be enjoying light, airy, high quality, open plan, modern offices with integrated high spec services and many design features incorporated to enhance their working environment, with no idea of the engineering challenges that had to be overcome to create the new space.

Clarkebond were appointed to design the structural elements of the new layout which involved replacement of the Prince Street façade and side elevation cladding, windows to all other elevations, a new roof covering throughout, replacement of existing entrance screens, replacement of all mechanical and electrical systems, lift replacement as well as reconfiguration of entrance areas and work to transform an existing light well and part of a stair area into an atrium to pull natural light deep into the building.

The biggest challenge for the engineers was dealing with the concrete-encased steel frame – a construction method that is no longer widely used.  Understanding the historic building details and their influence on the structure’s performance was critical in deriving effective solutions to match the architect’s aspirations. A major reconfiguration of the floor slab to create a dramatic new entrance and foyer area, involving the remodelling of the staircase was also required and several hundred new service holes had to be created in the floor slabs and beams to accommodate the modern level of services required and also because low ceiling heights precluded the use of hanging services.

Architects:  AWW inspired environments
Client: Standard Life Investments
Project Managers:  Real PM Ltd
Contractor: Midas