Home to the Government’s War Office in the 19th Century, 80 Pall Mall has undergone varied incarnations since first being constructed for the 3rd Duke of Schomberg in the 1690s. Its original façade was re-built when, along with neighbouring properties, it was converted into offices in the 1950s. It has now been completely refurbished again, with a total strip out and re-build of the accommodation and retention of the Grade II listed façade. FDS Consult was appointed to advise on a sympathetic approach to fire designing the scheme, using the team’s innovative thinking and experience to justify a non-code based strategy, minimise costs and enable one of the tenants to create the striking office environment they wanted.
The original proposal for the office building shell was to compartment each floor by ensuring that all services were fire stopped. While this plan remained in place for levels 2-5, the tenant’s proposal for the ground and first floors was to introduce glass-fronted meetings rooms around the periphery of each floor leading to an open atrium with a central, open staircase. FDS Consult’s expert team was able to help the client deliver this vision.
Other challenges lay in the original layout of the building, including an original staircase that was narrower than the code demanded and a light well on one side of the structure which did not meet current standards. FDS Consult’s creative approach to fire design not only enabled the team to overcome these obstacles but even ensured that they were used to best advantage to minimise modifications to the building.
Thanks to FDS Consult’s innovative approach, the scheme achieved cost savings of £500,000 and a key tenant was able to create an impact office space that reflects the high status of their Pall Mall address.