The remodelled layout clearly distinguishes between convening facilities in the centre, residential use to the east and offices to the west.
The existing basement contains a new high-quality conference centre, with a raised, glazed, vaulted ceiling. Bespoke honeycomb detailed panels crafted by a joiner adorns the ceiling. The space connects to the outdoors by a large glazed frontage overlooking newly landscaped gardens.
East Wing, Residential courtyard
The existing east wing of the listed building was returned to its original residential use, providing bedroom facilities for conference delegates. The ground floor, first floor, second and third floors were refurbished and a large basement formed containing 16 new spacious bedrooms, and a ground-level landscaped courtyard.
West Wing, Garden offices
A vast third basement has been formed to provide extensive offices with meeting rooms. A new glazed pavilion within the West Garden provides room for informal meetings within a tranquil setting.
Director of Estates, Rhodes Trust
Rhodes House Trust
Form of Contract
JCT design & build
After the removal of the two tower cranes, the outside spaces they occupied were transformed into lightwells. These lightwells were covered by glass, enclosing the existing external walls of two corridors and effectively becoming mini quads.
A new stone spiral staircase was formed beneath the existing impressive entrance rotunda, however the existing floor was too weak to support the stone, so various options were analysed before agreeing to install a permanent compression ring around the circular opening.
The glass pavilion building in the garden was difficult to build because the walls are glass-to-glass with minimum frames supporting the glazed panels. An intricate building services strategy was devised to ensure a temporary supply of water, electricity, gas, internet and phone lines to the occupants so daily life was not interrupted during works.
lorry loads of
trades on site
at peak times
CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
Excavating under a listed building: During construction of the three basements, vast propping was required to support the existing building. Complex supporting structures were built so we could remove columns, install a floating bay window and install lift shafts. We reinforced the ground, and minimised movement to surrounding buildings.
Occupied building: There was a significant amount of phasing involved in carrying out the works, as the existing building remained occupied for the duration of the construction. This required methodical detailing to plan the movements of hundreds of trades.
Reclaiming materials: Construction of two new porter’s lodges using reclaimed bricks from demolishing on-site buildings, these bricks matched the sandstone colour of Rhodes house.