A once derelict tower brought back to life
CIT’s South Bank Tower is now a 42-storey building after we extended the original structure by 11 floors. We also created more internal floor space by reducing the original concrete core by 50%.
South Bank Tower Project summary
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Grontmij, AKT II, Arcadis
Construct, Construction management, Contracting, Specialist services
Mixed-use development, Commercial, Offices, Retail, Commercial, Housing and regeneration
UK and Europe, UK - London and south-east England
- Start date
- October 2012
- End date
- May 2016
One of the last remaining relics on the South Bank amid new developments such as the London Eye, the original 1970s South Bank Tower, previously known as King’s Reach Tower, has now been transformed into luxury residential accommodation, office and retail space.
Now 42 storeys, the tower offers amazing views across the London skyline and boasts 193 luxury apartments. There is more than 370,000 square feet of offices, 72,000 square feet of retail space, a 25 metre long swimming pool, a communal roof terrace, residents' lounge, gym, screening room and business lounge. The project overcame significant technical challenges and required close alignment between us and our supply chain.
The conversion of the development, from office to residential use, has required extensive cut and carve work and the building used what was at the time, the highest temporary external staircase and tallest tower crane in London.
Points of note
Increasing spaceTo increase capacity we not only extended the building upwards but we also introduced extra basements to locate the plant rooms and amenity spaces for residents. We added a series of extensions to the T-shaped podium buildings on the site, which was also raised from a six-storey building to a nine-storey building, creating office space, external roof terraces and gardens for new and existing residential and office occupiers.
Engaging the community and workforceTo make sure local residents were kept in the loop, we invited them to monthly briefings and took them on tours around the site as well as issuing detailed weekly and monthly updates via bespoke newsletters. The site also led a number of employee engagement initiatives and Mace Foundation campaigns. The business as a whole raised £25,000 for 'Movember' in 2014 where men grow moustaches to raise money to improve men's health. Our South Bank Tower site has been an avid supporter of the cause and hoisted a Mace branded moustache onto the front of the building.
Employing local peopleWe launched a four week ‘Get into Construction’ programme - funded by the Mace Foundation and in partnership with the Prince’s Trust - to offer unemployed young people free training and work experience on the South Bank Tower site
Reducing riskThe project team devised a novel lift and pulley system to distribute hundreds of prefabricated bathroom pods. This took advantage of the stair shaft created temporarily as we demolished an original staircase and used the resulting shaft prior to infilling in order to create new floor space. This activity was incorporated into the core remodelling to carry out the task efficiently and safely – dramatically accelerating the programme while reducing risk.
Influencing mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP) design
Our MEP team was involved from an early stage, working with the client's design consultant on the building's MEP design. This meant we could influence and advise on the design, functionality and installation of the building's prefabricated parts, such as the bathrooms and the MEP services. This enabled the residential portion to be completed in numerous sections, allowing a phased sale and occupation of the apartments.
“It’s been fantastic working on this project - it involved a lot of innovation and collaboration. Everyone who worked with us including consultants, suppliers, engineers and US architect, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates did a great job. I also want to thank the local residents and businesses for their ongoing support throughout the build.”
“Mace has successfully delivered a very complex construction project which entails extensive reuse of existing structures, basement construction adjacent to 100 occupied flats and an 11-storey extension of an existing 31-storey tower. This project was extremely challenging and Shaun and his team have delivered it to the highest quality, safely and on time.”