BAM Construction is progressing with the second phase of the redevelopment and extension of Central House, Whitechapel, London.

BAM has been working for around 18 months under an extensive PCSA (pre-contract service agreement).

The £78 million scheme for Frasers Property has proven to be highly complex.  The office project is designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), with whom BAM worked on several buildings in the past including the Angel building, New Scotland Yard and Chobham Academy.

The original plans for the building have, however, changed significantly as a result of the complexities and challenges the team has uncovered.

“There were very significant structural risks associated with the scheme and it took all the parties to engage in detail to review how best to resolve these. BAM has conducted over 50 additional intrusive surveys to get to know the building fabric as well as possible. 

“The solution was more radical than originally envisaged but the client and design teams have been very collaborative and Frasers Property has been patient and excellent to work with despite these immense challenges. Our working relationships have been tested and have stood up extremely well.”

Rob Biddle

BAM’s Construction Manager

Set over a floor area of 22,579 m2, the refurbishment will upgrade the six-storey concrete frame building, as well as adding a further six-storey steel structured extension above.

Being the former home of the Cass School of Art and Architecture for London Metropolitan University, the building is a well-known London landmark. BAM will retain the façade of the 1960s modernist building. 

The BAM team has commenced piling recentlyhas and has been trialling and deploying a raft of leading-edge digital techniques to conduct surveys and create virtual tours for the client team as the building progresses.

At ground level, a generous reception space will connect the building to the surrounding area with a café for building users.

Public art, which will ultimately be visible from the street, will create a sight break between the existing and new build extension. A large planted roof terrace will be created and BAM will conduct improvements to the existing public realm. An important consideration due to the building’s location, which is close to the east entrance of Aldgate East Underground station, directly adjacent to Whitechapel High Street Conservation Area, and opposite the Whitechapel Gallery.

The scheme is targeting Well Gold in addition to a BREEAM Excellent rating, something BAM has achieved on many previous commercial buildings. 

“One thing essential to everybody’s success building in London, with its historic and compact structures, is a strong professional working relationship. I’m pleased this has been demonstrated by all parties here in creating a stunning new building behind a retained facade.

“BAM’s collegiate and collaborative approach allows us to solve problems, innovate and add value as well as make exceptional buildings. That is our DNA and I’m looking forward to seeing it produce yet another outstanding contribution to London’s skyline.”

Rod Stiles

Director of BAM Construction in London

Work is expected to complete in autumn 2022.

Burnley Wilson Fish is acting as quantity surveyor and contract administrator, while the structural engineer is Robert Bird Group and services engineering is via Sweco UK Ltd, while BAM’s own Services Engineering team are installing the services.