- Environment & Infrastructure
- Strategic consulting
- Specialist consulting
- The Living City
- Happold Consulting
Prior to refurbishment the Grade 11 listed Baskerville House in Birmingham remained unoccupied for several years. Buro Happold's refurbishment has created both quality office space and a gateway to the new Baskerville Wharf, a mixed use regeneration project in the heart of Birmingham. Located next to one of the city’s most vibrant public squares, Baskerville house now offers accommodation over seven floors, with a health club in the basement.
The redevelopment of this site is important to the office market in Birmingham. By adopting an innovative approach to integrating the old with the new, the potential for the development was unlocked for the client and the team.
In working with a listed building Buro Happold was required to deliver careful and sympathetic refurbishment while maximising lettable space. The four large atria that formed part of the original building reduced the space available for commercial use by around 60%. Consequently, the building footprint was reconfigured to replace the original atriums with two smaller entrance halls and to provide an additional two floors above the existing five storeys, almost doubling the usable space. To ensure that the space was suitable for the additional load, the existing steel columns and beams were strengthened.
The key to the success of the project was the collaboration between our structural engineers, ground engineers and the contractor on the project. By carrying out intensive site investigations and measurements, the design team was able to review the existing structural elements ahead of the works being carried out and compare them to the design requirements. By measuring each plated column it was found that 30% of the column strengthening was not needed and this resulted in significant cost savings.
Baskerville House was completed in 2007 and has been recognised in a number of Award schemes including the IStructE Heritage Award, the Midlands Property Awards and the British Council of Offices Awards.