Houses held up by metal girders, 149 Oxford Street, London

Houses held up by metal girders, Oxford Street, London

I came across this rather dramatic looking structure on 149-151 Oxford Street, central London, made up of a collection of long, angled metal girders holding up two adjacent buildings.

Houses held up by metal girders, Oxford Street, London

With the original 1950s office block now demolished (see below), the metal girders are a temporary measure while work starts on a replacement six story building.

H Smith Engineers described the complexities involved in demolishing the old building on their website:

Acting as Principal Contractor, the works included soft-strip and asbestos removal followed by careful dismantling and demolition techniques utilising mini and midi 360° excavators. Hand demolition and diamond saw cutting was employed on structures abutting third party properties as well as the installation of extensive Party Wall temporary works and weatherproofing.

Temporary works included high-level horizontal flying shores and basement level steel raking props on new concrete thrust blocks. Nigh on the entire site perimeter was underpinned to significant depths in order to allow a reduce level dig to be undertaken and the subsequent installation of a piling mat.

In order to avoid any disturbance to the busy Oxford Street frontage, all arisings were removed from site over a protected EDF substation, through a restricted opening and out onto a one-way side street.

Houses held up by metal girders, Oxford Street, London

Pre-demolition Google Street View image of the old building.

Houses held up by metal girders, Oxford Street, London

Houses held up by metal girders, 149 Oxford Street, London

Architect’s views of the replacement building for the Co-Operative Insurance Society, which covers 4,200m² on both Oxford Street and nearby Berwick Street [read more].

The new building is expected to open later this year, and certainly looks smarter than its predecessor.

Houses held up by metal girders, Oxford Street, London

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