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© Valerie Bennett

Saatchi Gallery

A defining project of our long term collaboration with client Cadogan Estates, Duke of York Square was a major regeneration scheme set amidst the illustrious history of London’s Kings Road. The project saw the conversion of a 6,500 m² Georgian building into a gallery, as well as an extension and substantial new-build additions.

We worked on the base-build with architect PDP London. As the building was leased to the Saatchi Gallery, this needed to accommodate the gallery’s structural requirements plus flexibility for any future change of use.

The Grade II*-listed headquarters, designed by John Sanders, was meticulously investigated prior to refurbishment. Its unusual structure features cast iron beams supporting a timber floor structure. We discovered the original patent for the beams in the British Library, providing information that enabled accurate assessment of their structural properties.

Chimney breasts within the building’s 900 mm thick masonry spine wall were removed, and service risers and natural ventilation ducts constructed within their footprint. New openings were also inserted into the spine wall, allowing access to the fifteen interconnected galleries split over three levels.  

Investigations also revealed that a fifth of the wall thickness was taken up by internal timber binders, acting as filler. In areas where they were rotten, these were cut out and replaced.

Geotechnical analysis added value by showing that the existing basement could be deepened by 500 mm, providing sufficient headroom for additional usable space. We achieved this by underpinning the building’s perimeter using 2.5 m long mini-piles. 

At the rear of the building a steel-framed extension with brick façades was constructed. Currently three storeys tall, it was designed so that it can be remodelled, should its use change to office space. An extra floor can also be inserted without removing the roof, increasing lettable floor space.

Fifteen interconnected gallery spaces added to the newly refurbished Duke of York HQ

LOCATION
London, UK
CLIENT
Cadogan Estates
ARCHITECT
PDP London
PROJECT VALUE
£ 30 million
COMPLETION
2008
FLOOR AREA
6,500 m²