38 King Street

Delivering modern retail space in a Grade II listed building

This high-profile refurbishment project demanded a high level of care and consideration to protect the heritage assets whilst creating a commercial space fit for modern retail usage. The scheme involved reworking the internal layouts to provide a modern open plan retail space, lowering the ground floor and basement whilst maintaining the historical auction room and party walls.

This project was a structural engineering challenge as the extensive interventions required to the traditional load-bearing masonry with steel beams and timber floor construction meant that temporary works would get in the way or complicate the permanent structure. To avoid this the permanent structure was designed in a way to minimise the amount of temporary works required. For example, multi-storey steel box frames were placed so they could be constructed before the removal of masonry spine walls that were providing lateral stability to the party walls. The construction works and sequence were continuously planned and monitored throughout with daily inspections by our project engineer. This also meant that any issues could be resolved immediately and without delay.

Even with initial investigations, it was imperative that all aspects linked with our design were carefully considered and updated as strip out works revealed more of the existing structure. For instance, basement excavations uncovered a hidden well and designs had to be reworked around this ‘on the fly’.

Lowering the basement created a more usable space and also allowed the ground floor itself to be lowered to improve headroom. To do this, the external party walls were underpinned whilst a depth of 1850mm was excavated. This also meant that the ornate cast iron posts supporting the gallery had to be supported and then sympathetically and carefully extended in line with the listed building status to create a beautiful, unique retail space.

  • Capco Covent Garden
  • PDP Studios
  • Forcia
Completion Date2016
  • Covent Garden
  • London

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Taking Sustainability Seriously

Sustainability is in our DNA and we have our own ambitious goals to achieve Net Zero as a business and with our designs. With innovative in-house monitoring tools, Walsh clients have seen on average reductions of 10-20% total embodied carbon, with some of our flagship work achieving 60-70% reductions compared with baseline figures.