The Rolfe Judd Architects’ designed office development at 8-13 Lime Street is a 9 storey building at the established heart of the City of London. Being within the Leadenhall Market conservation area, there was a requirement for the building to be predominantly constructed using natural Portland stone. However the site location and programme constraints could not practically accommodate it being built traditionally with handset stonework.
With no opportunities for compromise, a suitable alternative method of construction needed to be selected. For the principle Lime Street and Lloyd’s Building elevations, this was achieved using stone-faced precast concrete units comprising 50mm thick natural Portland stone, quarried and dimensioned by The Stone Firms at Portland, with a 150mm thick backing of reinforced concrete. For the Beehive Passage elevation, Rolfe Judd’s design showed brickwork that was similarly developed into brick-faced precast concrete units to facilitate the building’s construction.
The detail design of the stone faced and brick faced panels was then further developed to enable the window apertures within the typically storey-height panels to be framed and glazed by EAG before their despatch from The Marble Mosaic Company’s precasting facility at Weston-super-Mare.
Because of the site’s restricted location, the precast cladding panels were delivered on a just-in-time basis for direct off-loading and hoisting to their respective final locations. They were then fixed, safely and efficiently, without the need for an external scaffold. By effectively pre-assembling the stonework and brickwork requirement of some 1400m2 into 300 panels, the building was able to be clad in 12 weeks with shared use of the Main Contractor’s tower crane.