Project background

This project in Scotland involved work on a Grade B listed building that formerly accommodated the Monseigneur News Theatre and Café on Princes Street. The alteration and refurbishment project involved building two storeys of office accommodation on the first-floor structure to the rear of the main block.

Our involvement

Acies was the structural engineer on work comprising the partial demolition of the rear upper façade and building a lightweight steel and timber frame structure over the lower floors while maintaining and rejuvenating the original pinned arch trussed roof on the first floor. Windows were added between the trusses to create light in the first-floor office, with a common theme maintained by using specialist U-shaped patterned glass cladding forming the elevations of the new two-storey extension and access stair. Listed building conditions required the retention of the original arches over the news theatre. The design retained the arches as a feature, in contrast to the modern exposed building services within the new office space. The use of opaque U-channel glass cladding to the elevations of the extension provided privacy and a high level of natural light to the new office spaces. We were also appointed by HBOS to undertake the structural engineering design for the fit-out of the ground floor Halifax branch.

Acies projects - Hazledene House - featured image

How did we do it?

We collaborated with the architects and the rest of the design team to develop structural design solutions that retained the original arches over the news theatre and created open-plan spaces suitable for modern offices. We used lightweight steel trusses and timber to create the structure and façades for the extension. This minimised the additional loads added to the structure and meant we were able to avoid strengthening the lower floors or foundations of the listed building.

What challenges did we face or help to resolve?

Working on one of the busiest shopping streets in Scotland presented challenges in relation to limited access and constraints for construction.

Acies projects - Hazledene House - image 1

How did we resolve those challenges?

We worked proactively with both the other design team members and the contractor to develop a design where components could be easily delivered and installed. This involved including splices at key locations on trusses and beams to limit the size of members. This made the logistics of installing members within an existing building easier.

What impact did our work have for the client?

Our proactive approach to the design reduced the construction timescales and resulted in a sympathetic restoration and extension to a listed building in a prominent location. The project was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the Scottish Design Awards 2018 commercial office category.