Top 3 projects undertaken in London
London is a hotbed for construction and development, with an ever increasing need to strengthen its infrastructure. The infamous Crossrail project will no doubt relieve current pressures upon the underground and current transport services in and out of London.
With the strengthening of infrastructures, there is an increased amount of skyscraper projects which are pending within the capital. However, it has recently been announced that construction giant VINCI will be undertaking renovation works of the historic Mandarin Oriental Hotel within west London in a £60-million-year long project.
Originally built in 1889, all rooms within the hotel will be renovated to the highest quality, utilising first-class materials, with additional suites which will be built as an extension, offering spectacular views of Hyde Park. Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been utilised within the hotel’s new design, which has been created in collaboration with architect Purcell.
We look at top three other projects which are currently underway within the capital.
Battersea Power Station project
With rising house prices against an increased demand within the capital, the project to transform the disused Battersea power station will boost the local economy and create over 20,000 jobs in a project worth over £8 billion.
Technology giant Apple has also recently revealed that they will move their UK base to the area by 2021, further increasing the area’s commercial appeal.
London’s Bank Station upgrade
With London’s increased population and predicted rise to 10 million by 2030, there is increased need for local services to be able to maintain efficiency.
The renovation of London’s Bank Station has been given the green light in a new £563 million project, increasing the station’s overall capacity by forty percent and reduce congestion within daily commutes.
Due to start in the new year, the project is aimed to complete in 2021, but will stay open in order to minimise disruption. In order to ensure the project completes on time and within budget, work will be undertaken 24 hours a day, with over 200 engineers contracted on site.
Dragados SA, part of ACS Group, has been contracted. The renovation will provide increased space and comfort, increase the number direct routes and improved accessibility.
Google’s new London office
This year, Google moved into its new 11 storey base, close to Kings Cross Station and has been constructed with its 800 staff in mind.
Designed to incorporate several leisure facilities and communal areas throughout the building within a spacious setting, with curved, oak staircases and built areas within outside access to work and superior views over London.
Read the October 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
HS2’s Old Oak Common station in London given go-ahead
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today given the go-ahead to construct the HS2 train station in Old Oak Common in London. It is said that the station will be the UK’s largest built in one stage, and will create more than 2,300 jobs.
Mr. Shapps said: “The start of permanent works at the largest train station ever built in the UK in one go, Old Oak Common, marks yet more progress in delivering HS2, the high-speed, high-capacity and low-carbon railway that will form the backbone of our national transport network. This ‘super hub’ station shows our Plan for Jobs in action – kickstarting major regeneration, creating 2,300 jobs and 250 apprenticeships in construction – and underlines this Government’s determination to build back better”.
Construction of the 32-acre site will include a 1.1-mile-long underground wall making way for six HS2 platforms. HS2 Ltd said the station aims to offer “unrivaled connectivity” with services to four crossrail platforms, four mainland platforms in South Wales, as well as platforms in the Midlands and North of England.
A notable feature of the station is its roof, which is the size of three football pitches. Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “The start of permanent works at Old Oak Common station, our first station under construction, is a significant step for phase one of HS2, as we deliver world-leading engineering to create what will arguably be one of the best-connected railway super hubs in the UK”.
The HS2 project so far
Announced in January 2009 as a government plan to construct a new high-speed railway network connecting London, the West Midlands, Leeds, and Manchester, HS2 or “High Speed 2” initially sparked criticism for its potential impact on the country’s green spaces and countryside.
With costs of over £42bn for the tracks and a further £8bn for rolling stock, the HS2 is the single most expensive project ever attempted by the British government. While the plan may have been announced over a decade ago, construction started in 2017 and is still ongoing. It is due to be completed in 2025, although the COVID-19 pandemic has almost definitely put a spanner in the works.
If the process goes according to plan, HS2 Ltd says that Phase 1, the London to Birmingham line, will open to the public in 2026, following commissioning and testing. Phase 2, which includes a route from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, is due to start construction the same year, with an estimated completion and operation date of 2033.