Asia House, London

Asia house in the heart of London was fully refurbished, extended and transformed into grade A office accommodation arranged over lower ground, mezzanine, ground and five upper floors.

The 1910 steel frame building with filler joist floor slabs and traditional solid masonry elevations with faience blocks, had remained unchanged since its construction. It had a central circular cantilever stairs supported off masonry walls, with stairs wrapped round a lift core.

To suit modern office requirements the property needed refurbishing and upgrading. Being an inner city site it had physical constraints to consider with regards to the right of light act and party/boundary wall. It was also of archaeological interest and had planning considerations with regards to maintaining the character of the street front elevations for both repaired and new elevations.

For the project to be viable it was important that the lettable floor area was maximised but working within the physical constraints of the site. This was achieved by raising the building by one storey and infilling the rear lightwell from basement upwards with the floor plates fully integrated with all existing floor.

To minimise strengthening works to the existing structure the design capacity of the building was assessed against its original design criteria current at the time of construction and from material testing and investigation it’s residual capacity assessed. This approach along with load balancing by comparing existing with new eliminated the need for strengthening works.

As the building suffered from Regent Street Disease ie corrosion of the steel frame buried within the elevations Clarkebond scoped and specified the remediation works necessary to extend the life of the frame.