48 Leicester Square, London, W1


PCSA Duraton: 23 weeks. Works Duration: 38 weeks.


London, W1

Location & Overview

Built in 1923, this iconic island site landmark dominated the western side of the prestigious Leicester Square in London’s West End, which experiences some 240,000 visitors daily and is world renowned for its events & film festivals. This was an extremely complex demolition project, incorporating a four-side external façade retention scheme in this densely populated environment, whilst removing all internal floors.

Work, Challenges & Solutions

Creation of over 300 investigation holes into the façade to establish connection details. Jack and load test the floor structures, which proved to be vital as the building had expanded significantly since 1923.
Design and erect a cantilevered scaffold system to enable the advanced demolition of the roof structure. Construction of 3 temporary UKPN substation bases to allow the existing subs to be decommissioned.
Formation of Kentledge bases to support 5 façade towers, one of which was designed to incorporate the foundations for a new UKPN substation.
Design and erection of the external four-sided structural steel façade retention system, which was over 180 linear meters in length, supporting five floors of Portland Stone.
Specialist automatic drilling rigs cored through the concrete and steel grillage foundations to a depth of 3m to create a totally clear piling zone.
The retention system itself comprised of 250 tons of fabricated steelwork supported on 400m3 of Kentledge.
The works were carried out with little or no disruption to local businesses and visitors to Leicester Square.
Demolition works were nominated for the Construction News Awards.