In January 2010 GRID were asked to assess the refurbishment of Carmelite House - a tired 1980s riverside City HQ. GRID’s competition entry promoted the recladding, a revised core in the same position and replacement of toilets, entrance hall, floors and ceilings. However the fundamental improvements to the usable floorspace and circulation showed disproportionate benefits for a simple refurbishment. The rationalisation of the messy and counterproductive atrium and circulation arrangement changed the circulation pattern and the functionality of the building.
Using our specialist knowledge and long experience in stone buildings the loadbearing façade was designed to take the weight of all the revised perimeter structure and the new, heavier and thicker façade. But the office planning grid shines through a tri-partite elevation even at the top floor where the bay windows become glass dormers. A change in ownership meant that GRID did not progress the scheme but the completed refurb has been heavily influenced by the strategy albeit lacking in the execution.