ISG secures £6.5Million London art deco restoration

SG has been awarded a £6.5million project to refurbish the north section of Senate House – the iconic Portland Stone building that houses the University of London’s world-famous library and central administration facilities.

Formerly used as the Ministry of Information during World War II, the Grade II* listed Art Deco-inspired modernist building at the centre of the university’s campus in Russell Square was once the second tallest building in London after St Paul’s Cathedral. ISG’s refurbishment programme sees the extensive internal remodelling of the north block’s basement, ground floor, and levels one to three, including significant structural alterations.

The first phase of the project sees ISG carry out a systematic strip out of the accommodation, followed by sensitive demolition works to break out the existing floor slabs and insertion of new structural steelwork. A large access void will be created within the concrete floor and an existing basement-to-roof riser will be stripped out, the space reconfigured and a new lift installed.

The internal remodelling of Senate House includes the provision of new partition walls to create a library, with book racking, shelving and research facilities. ISG will also deliver new lecture theatres, conference facilities and a number of cellular offices and studies. The high specification fit out is being carried out in an architecturally sensitive manner to preserve the heritage of the building, using traditional materials and skilled craftspeople to repair lime stone plaster, interior timberwork and stone cornices.

Secondary glazing will be either replaced or upgraded to improve the building’s thermal and acoustic performance and existing parquet flooring repaired and rejuvenated. ISG is delivering a full turnkey solution for the University of London involving the sourcing and supply of all fixtures, fittings and equipment.

A key element of the modernisation works includes the installation of modern and efficient mechanical and electrical systems. ISG will retrofit new power, data, A/V and a state-of-the-art building management system, as well as upgrading the building’s original travertine marble radiant heating panels, through the installation of modern, controllable heating elements. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2014.

Stuart Deverill, ISG’s Southern regional managing director, commented:

“ISG has built up a wealth of experience successfully delivering projects involving complex structural alterations within some of London’s most iconic and architecturally sensitive buildings. The demand for better performing accommodation has never been greater and this is driving a market where ISG’s specialist knowledge and expertise in complex space reconfiguration and retrofit services upgrades continues to be highly valued.”