Like a Phoenix
On February 24 2017 a serious fire destroyed most of this block of flats on the Harrow Road in the Maida Vale area of west London. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Samuely were appointed to undertake the structural design of the replacement building – the owner wanted to increase the the height of the building so that an additional 10 flats could be created over the top of the ground floor retail space. But this time with NO restaurant…

Working with Rolfe Judd architects we developed a concrete framed scheme over 5 storeys. In order to work within the constraints of the retail space grid (no columns allowed) and the replication of the original 9 flat layouts (random columns) we decided to use a post tensioned concrete slab at every level in order to increase the span length of the floors.

With concrete blade columns located in party walls the internal flats are formed using cold rolled light gauge steel sections.
The building has inset balconies, made from steel and bolted on using thermal breaks. The exposed brickwork cladding presented a few difficulties; the recessed panels require some rather intricate stainless steel brackets for support but we were able to overcome this with some success.

Brennan, the main contractor, started on site in early 2020. And then we all went in to Lockdown…
The client then had his principal funder pull out because they saw no future in new residential developments and the site closed down.
Brennan then decided to invest in to the project themselves and after sorting out various loans were able to restart the project; they successfully completed in mid 2021 and the original tenants were able to move back in.
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Submitted by Stuart Hutchinson