5 & 6 St James’s Square, London, SW1

Exemplar Properties (Ph1 Works)

70 weeks


London, SW1

Location & Overview

No. 6 was the former head office for Rio Tinto, a modern 6-storey reinforced concrete structure in the heart of St James’s Square. This building wrapped around the Grade ll listed No. 5 St James’s Square, the former Libyan Embassy, which was to be maintained throughout demolition. The In & Out Club neighboured the site, and its ornate interior was surveyed pre, during and post-works for movement. None was detected.

Work, Challenges & Solutions

Early demolition to enable installation of a sheet pile cofferdam within the light well. Excavation down to the new proposed formation level, with substations located to their permanent position at a very early stage, allowing full demolition to proceed.
All demolition vehicle movements were coordinated through Apple Tree Yard, a small single-service road, rather than using St James’s Square.
Demolition progressed ahead of programme, allowing sheet piling to be installed to certain areas of the site. Zero piles were placed within 20mm of the adjacent party walls to maximise the basement area available.
Upon completion of the demolition, a basement excavation sequence was agreed to suit the RC contractor and temporary works scheme.
A reduced level dig of 11m resulted in 12,000m3 of material being removed from site whilst installing 300 tonnes of steelwork.
A bespoke cantilever platform was created for the specialist long-reach machine used to excavate materials from below ground level and load lorries at the upper level.


Our tenant liaison manager worked with Westminster Council and the local residents throughout the works to ensure a good relationship was maintained at all times.