In order to create one unified, expanded RA facility, the project involved connecting the RA’s historic home of Burlington House to its neighbouring property, 6 Burlington Gardens, and transforming the latter building into a new suite of gallery spaces, offices, public areas, cafés, shops and a lecture theatre.
The public route that connects the two buildings now takes in the newly refurbished Octagon Corridor, bisects the basement teaching spaces, then rises through an enclosed concrete link bridge.
Along with the internal works, a number of restorations have been made to the front of the building, with 26 statues on the façade of 6 Burlington Gardens returned to their former glory.
A high quality exterior finish was achieved thanks to the use of a silica spray which we sourced through our specialist supply chain partners. Once carefully applied, this spray removed dirt without compromising any stonework details.
Unsurprisingly for a project of this nature, our change management strategy was always going to be fundamental to its success. Thanks to our team’s efficient approach to dealing with what transpired to be an almost-constant stream of unexpected discoveries, over 700 changes were successfully managed without any detrimental effect to the project’s overall timelines. Given that sheer volume alone, this was an amazing achievement by all concerned.
Our concrete sandwich wall technology helped to create a building envelope that maximises energy efficiency, durability and performance, all while regulating internal temperatures and humidity. In an England-based construction first, Thermomass® technology was also installed throughout the building.
Completing the project in time for 2018’s RA250 celebrations required both a large number of innovation techniques, and a particularly high level of productivity to ensure they all combined as intended.
The RA’s art collection includes masterpieces worth millions of pounds, so minimising any impact or damage to their condition was a crucial factor throughout. Key to this was our innovative early use of laser scanning and digital design modelling to virtually build the project before work began.
To ensure our noise levels were always at acceptable levels, we undertook weekly high-level operational and logistical meetings with members of the local business and residential communities. We additionally engaged with these communities by circulating newsletters and mail drops containing relevant information, routes of access and invitations for questions / feedback.