BW: Workplace Experts has completed the CAT A+ refurbishment of 1 Malet Street in Bloomsbury, London for the University of London.

BW renovated an existing building to uncover its original period features, along with adding more modern interventions to create high-standard commercial office space.

The brief involved opening up the space to reveal its original features, paying homage to the district of Bloomsbury, which is best known for its historical literary connections. In terms of architecture, the area is known for its mix of beautiful Georgian structures, grandeur and more practical Victorian spaces and sophisticated modern buildings.

This particular project is an elegant period building and BW were tasked with fitting tasteful veneer doors, as well as exposing the magnificent high, suspended ceilings to restore the look and feel of the original space. The resulted in a spectacular, open plan building with practical modern interventions.

In terms of the fit-out, the project work involved the soft stripping of the existing building, refitting the space and installing new features such electrical and mechanical services, shower and toilet facilities, as well as new data and access control provisions.

BW also replaced the existing lift and its shaft. During this process, the team encountered a challenge due to the existing component being a vintage lift, but this was quickly overcome thanks to the team’s expertise and meticulous work. BW installed a new steel structure which fitted seamlessly while also being DDA compliant.

The project attained a SKA Gold rating; this is the first time the University has received this accreditation for a construction project. Led and owned by RICS, the SKA rating system is an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fitouts.

Working alongside multi-professional consultancy practice Pick Everard and the building’s energy provider, BW set up the space’s hot water supply. The new heating strategy was designed to receive hot water from the Bloomsbury district heating network, instead of locally via gas fired boilers. This required extra intricate design and coordination from the project team.

Altogether this development employs modern interventions while sensitively restoring the building’s beautiful period features.