Built as the London headquarters of Shell-Mex and BP in 1932, Eighty Strand (or Shell Mex House as it was then known) stands proud on the northern bank of the Thames. The 60,000m2, grade-II listed Art Deco building is currently undertaking of refurbished space, adapting to the changing needs of London’s modern work-life demands.
Civic Engineers collaborated closely with client Strandbrook and PDP architects to deliver this major refurbishment including 4 floors of category A office floors.
As movement patterns evolved over the last century, the building’s entrance shifted from Embankment to the Strand. A reimagining of the building’s main entrance was necessary, and results in complex engineering design to create a glazed pavilion. Formed from lightweight steelwork, the structure elegantly maximises daylight into the reception.
To meet the need for contemporary collaborative working spaces, newly added break-out areas feature double-height ceilings. Providing a mix of indoor and outside spaces, new lightwell pavilions are visually simple yet highly complex structurally. Two 17m-long bridge trusses and major bridge beams must be cut and re-supported to provide access to these areas.
This feat of engineering is accomplished by propping the existing structure off the new pavilions, which are themselves supported on transfer beams and new foundations at basement level.
All works will be achieved while the building remains occupied. The technical challenges of refurbishing some of London’s grandest heritage buildings such as Eighty Strand give Civic’s engineers enormous satisfaction.