© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett

The Crane Building

This development in central London consisted of the refurbishment and extension of an existing five-storey building, including the construction of two additional storeys that modernised and increased floor space.

Originally named ‘Crane House’, then ‘St Ives House’, the building was constructed as a printworks for book publishers Burrup Mathleson & Co in the 1950s. This was re-clad in the 1980s, but the cladding was removed for the new development. Due to the use of heavy machinery in the past, the building had a higher load capacity than is typically required for an office building, which allowed for the addition of extra floors without increasing the loading on the foundations. It was proposed that the total load of the new development not exceed that of the original.

The two-storey extension consists of a steelwork frame, built off and supported on the existing principle column positions. The floors are 150 mm-thick lightweight concrete composite slabs connected to steelwork beams with welded shear studs. A wind moment frame provides stability which is transferred from the stability system of the existing building at fifth floor level.

The building has been clad in a lightweight curtain wall of bespoke ribbed, white glazed terracotta tiles, offset from each other to form an intricate pattern.

Other works included infill of the existing lightwell along the eastern party wall, construction of free-standing external steel stairs on the south side of the building, and a new five-storey structure on the east side, adjacent to the boundary wall with 20 Lavington Street.

A new basement link, constructed using sheet piles and RC lining walls, provides access from the ground floor/rear escape stair and the existing basement. New foundations are piled and, for the core area, the columns sit on ground beams that cantilever out of the pile caps.

Refurbishment and extension of 1950s building, requiring recladding and new two-storey roof pavilion

London, UK

Dorrington PLC

Allies & Morrison

£ 7.5 million

5,360 m²



  • BREEEAM Award 'Excellent'