LST has completed a £1m refurbishment at one of the world’s most spectacular university buildings.
Considered the heart of the Royal Holloway University in London, the Founder’s Building was opened by Queen Victoria in 1886 and designed to reflect a French chateau.
LST was appointed by the University to refurbish a former library located on the ground floor of the impressive building as well as the south tower, creating academic office space across five floors.
The scope of works comprised the fit-out of the internal floors of the South Tower and ground floor offices under the Reading Rooms, including all M&E services, installing new partitions, ceilings, flooring and wall finishes as well as decoration and alterations to the fire alarm system.
It was essential that all work was carried out sympathetically to protect and maintain the property’s historic fabric. A further challenge was the need to minimise the impact of the refurbishment on students and teachers, which required the LST team to periodically stop work and clear the site if special events were being held.
The 16-week project was delivered in two phases and within strict timescales. The ground floor offices had to be handed over within eight weeks while work continued on the south tower. The timings were made more challenging because there was a six-week wait for planning consent for the toilets in the south tower, however LST was able to make up the time and keep the construction programme on track.
This is the second contract LST has delivered for the Royal Holloway University. The refurbishment was project managed on behalf of the client by Hand Deere Cox Associates.
“This was a very prestigious but challenging project, especially as we had to delay part of the work for six weeks. We overcame this hurdle by communicating daily, and sometimes hourly, with the client and delivering our programme of works around the University’s schedule. Some parts of the project were re-programmed and others accelerated. Our sub-contractors were also carefully managed ensuring the project finished on time and to the highest standard.”