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Bonhams

Transforming the international headquarters of one of Britain’s great auction houses was a complex multi-stage project, working not only within a constrained site but also directly above construction of a new Crossrail station.

We worked with architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands on the project for auctioneer Bonhams. Decades of piecemeal development around Haunch of Venison Yard off London’s New Bond Street were replaced by a four-storey, state-of-the-art facility.

Two existing elements have been retained: the Grade II-listed Blenstock House at the site’s northern edge, plus a Victorian house on New Bond Street. The latter has been gutted to create a new atrium entrance.

Phase 1 saw refurbishment of the 1,820 m² Blenstock House, providing temporary accommodation for those displaced by subsequent demolition of the other existing buildings. The final stage was Blenstock House’s further refurbishment as staff and services were transferred into the new building.

Our biggest challenge was the scheme’s location directly above Crossrail’s Bond Street Station box. This was constructed concurrently, necessitating constant liaison between both project teams. The effects of unloading the ground during demolition and subsequent reloading as the new building was constructed had to be modelled to demonstrate that the two projects would not impact detrimentally upon each other.

With a basement level, three storeys of double-height sale rooms plus a further level of office space, the concrete-framed building could have resulted in unacceptably high loads imposed on the new station. We have optimised the structure to keep weight to a minimum while delivering the column-free spans required for the large auction spaces.

No piled foundations were permitted, so the building sits on an extra thick concrete raft directly above the Crossrail station box, to minimise any differential settlement across the site.

Heavily constrained refurbishment project in Central London for the renowned auctioneers

LOCATION
London, UK
CLIENT
Bonhams Auction House
ARCHITECT
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
PROJECT VALUE
£ 25 million
COMPLETION
2013

AWARDS
  • 2016 Civic Trust Award
  • 2015 RIBA National Award
  • 2015 RIBA Regional Award
  • 2014 BCI Award 
  • 2014 AIA London/UK Excellence in Design Award