Chancery House, Liverpool
Working for Chancery House LLP alongside Architects Falconer Chester Hall, Civic Engineers was appointed as Structural Engineers on the conversion of Chancery House; a grade II listed building, into 37 flats and a restaurant.
Built in 1899 and located on Paradise Street in Liverpool city centre Chancery House was the former home of the Gordon Smith Institute for Seamen. The building has a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments with 900sqm of commercial space spread over the ground and mezzanine with a two-storey extension to the roof and a new six-storey link building.
The two-storey braced steel frame extension was constructed atop the existing building to increase the apartment numbers. To mitigate overstressing the existing structure and foundations, a steelwork frame with a lightweight timber joisted floor was proposed. A detailed load takedown was carried out for a comparison of existing and proposed floor build-ups. Opening-up within the existing building, to convert from office to residential, was essential to create the desired open plan living space. We determined the extent of existing structure that could be altered without significant structural interventions. Where large openings were formed in the existing loadbearing masonry walls at ground floor, a steelwork moment frame was constructed to maintain stability. Where space within the existing roof space at second floor was maximised, it required the diagonal members of a king-post truss to be removed to allow free-movement through the space. The truss was strengthened with a series of steelwork flitch plates.
A series of 1100mm deep (350kg/m) Universal Beams were specified at first floor transfer five storeys of structure over, creating the column-free space at ground floor within the steel framed extension. The beams span up to 15m in length and transfer 3300kN per beam end. A structural movement joint within the steel frame between the existing and new building follows the line of the architectural finishes to minimise any movement within brittle finishes. Cantilever sections and transfer beams were installed around the complex geometry.