Hamilton House, EC4Y
Built in 1899 by the architect Mr M. Emerson as a home for the Employers Liability Assurance Corporation, Hamilton House stands proudly, five floors high on the Thames riverside. Last year we were instructed as the main contractors to transform this old building into an attractive hive of self-serviced offices and communal spaces, starting with the third floor – which eventually became our new office space.
The design brief for the third floor at Hamilton House was to create a new layout that offers shared breakout space and to illuminate the dark internal circulation areas. To create the self-serviced offices, we worked closely with the architects at DMFK to uncover the original historic detailing of the fabric of the building, starting with a meticulous, and very careful strip-out.
This was a challenging process due to the cumulative effect of many refurbishments completed over time within the building, but this process of rediscovering was a key design driver for the architects, with the completed design taking its cues from the original interior proportions and details, which were married with contemporary features. The timber floors within the offices were sanded and revarnished to look fresh and modern, and new high-quality joinery was designed and installed as contemporary additions complementing the original detailing.
- 3,676 sq. ft.
- 20 weeks
The project is a celebration of the heritage of the building, whilst significantly improving the functionality and aesthetics of the shared facilities and lettable office spaces.”DMFK Architects
We created mock-ups to eliminate any design issues before completing the full installation. And while reconfiguring the layout for the self-serviced offices we also rearranged the mechanical and electrical, data and fire alarm systems to fit the new spaces. These works proved to be a challenge for our team, mainly when they had to integrate the new drainage and AC service risers through the building. As all the other floors were occupied, work on the third floor needed to be carefully coordinated to accommodate future works in the other spaces, with a last-minute solution being to install the backbone of a new service for the whole building.
The shared breakout space was created by installing a custom-made tea point and the natural light streams in through glazed joinery partitions that our team installed in the meeting room and office spaces when they built the new layout. The joinery panels also invite a connection with the outside, giving everyone meeting or relaxing in the breakout area, some wonderful riverside views to enjoy.
A carefully chosen palette of colour and materials creates a sophisticated yet modern finish. The colour palette of light wood tones, cream and dark brown married with the textures of the reconditioned terrazzo and fluted joinery adds warmth and a contemporary feel to the communal spaces and the many decorative features throughout the space.
In addition to the third floor, we have also refurbished the washrooms that integrate the same design and features, but with the addition of a new shower. To rejuvenate and bring back to life all the historic features of the building was particularly rewarding and satisfying – and what originally started as a refurbishment for the third floor also ended up a refurbishment for our new office. Our team now benefits from an inspiring workplace with modern design and equipment, whilst enjoying the views and the prime location of the Embankment area.