Number one address

Work is drawing to a close on a landmark project in the highly sought after Mayfair area of London, that has required both demolition and earthmoving expertise from specialist contractor McGee.

McGee is currently forging ahead with works to excavate the basement in preparation for a new in situ concrete frame that will support a prestigious new residential development, due for completion in Q4 2019.

This earthmoving element follows a demanding £7.4 million demolition at the site, which was formerly the US Embassy and latterly the Canadian High Commission. In 2014 Canada sold the building to prominent Indian developer Lodha UK for conversion into luxury apartments.

Planning required the retention of the original façade, which is commonplace in the demolition industry, but uniquely at MacDonald House, the client aspired to create taller ceiling heights, requiring the vertical spacings to be changed. The resulting solution was to dismantle the façade brick by brick and stone by stone, rebuilding it so the windows and other architectural features matched the new spacings.

The taller ceiling heights were not the only reason for dismantling the façade however. It was also incredibly thick, with some of the stones penetrating right through to the inner leaf and causing thermal bridging.

Dismantling and reducing the size of large pieces of masonry enabled the façade to be re-built as a non-loadbearing skin supported by a new concrete frame erected behind it. An additional advantage to this was it freed-up even more living space inside the building.