Borough Yards

Borough Yards

Southwark, London
SECTOR: Office/Retail & Leisure

Ian Craig & Steve Gunning

Wates Group & Meinhardt Group

Situated in the London Borough of Southwark; nestling in the Victorian railway arches of London Bridge next to the vibrant Borough Market; this site was previously occupied by Vinopolis, the wine tasting venue and restaurant. The project is centred around the redevelopment of the high railway arches for retail use, with retained façades and new high specification flexible workspace incorporating a cinema in the basement.

The evolve team was instructed by our client, Wates Construction Ltd., on behalf of the main client MARK, to provide civil and structural engineering services to complete the design and provide construction details for the design and build contract on the £300m development.

The scheme received planning permission in March 2017. Due for phased completion in 2021/22, it will feature five mixed-use buildings including Grade A workspace, retail, gallery, restaurants, cinema and creative spaces. The high-quality public realm scheme will restore and reinvent the lost medieval street pattern of the area adjacent to the world-famous food destination Borough Market.

Restoring and rejuvenating an important part of south London’s Victorian railway heritage, the landmark scheme will also re-purpose 8,500sqm of existing railway arches. The architectural design weaves together historic fabric with contemporary architecture and new public spaces, opening the site to its Bankside context and bringing new pedestrian routes and amenities to the area.

The project consists of retained façades, new basement construction, temporary works, new build steel framed construction and railway arch redevelopment to introduce ground and mezzanine floor accommodation. New site wide infrastructure is provided throughout the development.

The realignment of pedestrian routes though the existing railway viaduct requires significant interventions into the railway arch structure. This has involved close liaison with the Network Rail Asset Protection Team.

For Wates Construction Ltd.

  • Structural engineering design
  • Civil engineering design
  • BIM Modelling
    • Structures
    • Civils
    • Site wide coordination of buried services
    • Construction works sequence diagrams
    • Coordination with temporary works
  • Reinforced concrete detailing
  • Contractor’s Engineering Manager (CEM responsible for signing off all submissions to Network Rail)

For Meyer Bergman

  • Client monitor
  • Resident Engineer
  • Retail fitting out tenant specification

Procured through a two-stage form of design and build contract, construction began with an enabling works contract to install the secant pile wall which will form the perimeter retaining wall to the new basement construction. Constructed adjacent to the River Thames and below the ground water table in alluvium, this necessitated waterproof construction and a design capable of resisting hydrostatic uplift during construction. This was achieved through waterproof concrete with an external membrane to protect the structure against the ingress of water from the ground and tension bored piles to resist the forces imposed on the structure. Pile sizes were restricted by the requirement to limit the size of the piling rig to enable it to be easily de-rigged and transverse below the horizontal temporary propping required to support the excavation during construction. The basement was constructed of reinforced concrete, up to and including the ground floor slab.

The superstructure provides large span areas formed with structural steel frames supporting concrete slab cast composite metal decking. Overall structural stability is provided by exposed feature reinforced concrete walls. The overall height of the building consists of up to two levels of basement and six levels above ground. The building is clad in feature masonry to complement the adjoining railway structures. The height of the building is restricted by planning and consequently, the structural floor zone is restricted, necessitating the use of fabricated steel plate girders to span the large column grid. Openings are provided through the structure to accommodate building services, which are exposed in the finished building. A supplementary steel frame is provided to support the masonry cladding.

Significant studies were carried out to determine the most suitable construction sequence and, in particular, the coordination of the temporary works retaining the masonry façades, including the load transfer sequence from the temporary works support to the new permanent structure. Cloud point surveys were provided for the project and 3D construction sequence diagrams were prepared to illustrate the requirements to the main contractor and their supply chain.

All construction details were prepared using 3D design and modelling software. Although not a contractual requirement for the ultimate client, Wates Construction required the use of BIM models for coordination purposes and to prove buildability of the scheme. 3D models were regularly federated by a specialist team. This proved to be a very worthwhile exercise for all elements, including sub and superstructure, architecture, building services and site wide infrastructure incorporating all buried and strategy services.

The works within the railway arches required demolition of mezzanine floors, removal of existing ground floor slabs and buried structures. The new structures utilised ground bearing and piled foundations, using helical piles to meet the requirements of Network Rail. Mezzanine floors are formed in structural steelwork with cold rolled steel joists and timber flooring.

The site wide infrastructure includes water, gas, electricity, data district heating and a drainage system for the railway tracks, arches and retail units. The drainage systems on the site require pumping from low level and attenuation before discharging off site into Thames Water sewers. The most complex coordination on site is the buried services which pass through the pinch points on the site.

Arch interventions are also to be carried out in four locations. This requires coordination with buried service routs, adjoining new structure, retained structure and Victorian brick arches. The project include temporary and permanent works.