PROJECT COMPLETION | Phase 1 at High Street Kensington
Knowles has now completed Phase 1 works at our Kensington High Street project.
This project has significantly transformed the eastern wing of one of the capitals most iconic streets in Kensington with an aesthetically sensitive, and innovatively designed mixed-use scheme. Sitting in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, within a highly sought-after retail location and one of London’s most prestigious communities, this project provides the opportunities for a regeneration of the local community, the addition of revitalised retails spaces and the creation of residential units.
Since commencing works in January 2020, Knowles have completed a complex scope of works including the extensive and sensitive demolition of existing buildings whilst retaining and restoring the prominent street-facing front façade with highly engineered temporary works. The erection of the new rear modernised structure is now complete, alongside the following works:
• New RC Slabs
• New RC lift shaft
• New RC Stairs
• Structural Steel Frame with slab infills
• Blockwork to level 2
Due to the location of the project, a highly skilled and engineered management approach was taken to aid in monitoring the neighbouring TFL interface, which sits at 300mm below the ground floor slab.
Throughout our time on site, the incredible site team were awarded a score of 41/50 on the recent Site Report by the Considerate Constructors Scheme. The team were commended on their “very high standards of code compliance” with the “initial impressions remaining exceptional, the highlight being the magnificent die-bonded hoarding and wrap to the front elevation.”
Knowles’ Site Management team were highlighted for “clearly demonstrating a commitment to the local community and the collaboration and support for neighbours and third-party stakeholders is exemplary.”
Since our previous update, Knowles have now completed the final stages of our Phase 1 works on site including the rear and party wall brickwork, completing all roofs, window, balcony and railing installation to the rear, as well as the installation of an aluminium cladding to the facia. Alongside this work, Knowles included the crane and complete small blockwork internally before handing over for Phase 2 which will consist of the fit-out of the commercial retail units and four luxury residential units.
“Project Managing this scheme was extremely challenging but also rewarding – from the facade retention with complex temporary works, to the live circle line tube tunnel only 300mm below the GF slab, limiting much of the available space for storage on the Ground Floor, to the complex steel frame which transferred the weight of the building on to the party walls from the 1st floor up to the roof, keeping the weight off the tunnel below.
Dealing with deliveries on one of London’s busiest streets, as well as the constant passing pedestrians, was a challenge and demanded 100% focus from the whole Knowles team on site – but it was a challenge that we were able to overcome with a stringent CTMP and clear communication. The communication between management and trades was essential with daily morning briefings to achieve targets.
We were proud to achieve an excellent considerate constructor score of 41, which praised this site on all levels including managing to maintain excellent relations with the local neighbours.
All in all, I can say I consider myself extremely lucky to have experienced such a varied and challenging project and certainly felt I expanded my overall knowledge and I look forward to seeing the project completed once Phase 2 has been delivered.” – Robin O’Toole, Knowles’ Project Manager
Throughout our time on site, Knowles have made use of a time-lapse camera located on site to benefit both the site team, commercial team and clients.
With the global pandemic putting the opportunity to host site visits on pause, we found our time-lapse cameras playing a vital role in the management and overseeing of the site. These state-of-the-art cameras are high definition, and record constantly, allowing for real-time, and past time updates when necessary. They aid in verifying works that have taken place, checking on deliveries and support monthly valuations and reports as well as showcasing the efficiency and progress on a site to clients globally.
“Knowles succeeded in delivery the Shell and Core phase of project, delivering a great end product for our mutual Client. Knowles navigated a logistically challenging, tight site, difficult ground conditions and impressively, worked with minimal impact throughout the CV-19 pandemic inclusive of numerous lockdowns with minimal programme impact. Communication from the site team, particularly Robin O’Toole was solid throughout and kept all parties up to speed with risks, issues and progressed.’ – Jim Heatley, Client representative at PCB