Daily Express Building, Refurbishment

Hurley Robertson & Associates, London, 2000

 

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The entrance: restored to opulent splendour – in his novel Scoop in 1933 Evelyn Waugh recalled it as ‘the Byzantine vestibule’ 

Max Alexander (website)     Download Original

  • The entrance: restored to opulent splendour – in his novel Scoop in 1933 Evelyn Waugh recalled it as  ‘the Byzantine vestibule’    
  • The building today, proprieter Lord Beaverbrook relished the chance to outface his rivals with this Modernist landmark    
  • New curved returns on the south-east and north-west match that on the south west corner    
  • Refurbished entrance hall     
  •     
  • Entrance hall    
  • Spiral staircase    
  • New curved returns on the south-east and north-west match that on the south west corner    
  •     
  • Site Plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Fourth floor plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • Section B-B    
  • The Daily Express building in the 1960s    
  • The entrance hall as it was in the late 1930s with its linoleum waves    
  • Glazing details    
  • Glazing detail    

Refurbishment and preservation of a 1930s Grade II listed, Art deco building by Sir Owen Williams, in London's Fleet Street, housing offices and conference space on five floors

One of the challenges faced by the architect was recreating the spectacular foyer, largely from photographs, and upgrading the facade without changing its appearance.

The client was receptive to the proposal that Williams' exposed profiled concrete office ceilings should be left uncovered, but it was clearly necessary to greatly improve the thermal and acoustic performance of the glazing – a single layer of glass in steel frames.

What Williams created was not strictly a curtain wall – clear glazing alternated black glass (vitriolite) panels, which were a facing on the concrete frame. Many of these panels were in a poor state and some had been badly repaired after the superficial war damage.

The building now has its own lift and central service core – the original, very narrow lift shafts have been reused as air vents – though the impressive oval staircase has been retained and restored (with original light fittings replicated and its bold colours reinstated) and extended to the fifth floor.

Data

  • Begun: Feb 1998
  • Completed: 2000
  • Floor area: 57,750m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £80M
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Oct 1997
  • Procurement: JCT 81
  • Address: 120 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2BE, United Kingdom

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