Royal Albert Hall
Our long-term involvement with the Grade I listed Royal Albert Hall began in 1997 and has included the refurbishment of the Elgar Room which involved significant structural alterations to rationalise floor levels and provide support for new plant, followed by the refurbishment of Verdi one of the Hall’s most popular restaurant.
We also routinely assess loads imposed on the historic structure in connection with various shows to ensure that the specific equipment and rigging restraint requirements are adequately and safely met without damaging the structure or its finishes. As part of these assessments we undertook a detailed study of the complex wrought iron roof structure, recognised to be one of the best examples of Victorian iron engineering, to define acceptable loading regimes for different distributions of show equipment.
More recently we have been providing structural engineering design services for a new double height basement at the south west of the Hall as it upgrades its facilities. The new basement will provide much needed office space, plant space and a new artists’ bar. Access to the new space has required extending downwards by one storey under the footprint of the hall itself. The new basement is located near a large residential mansion block and Imperial College. The brick chimney which serves the hall is adjacent to the new basement. All are closely monitored during the course of the works.
We have taken pains to design the basement structure utilising low percussive silent piling techniques in conjunction with carefully sequenced traditional construction methods to minimise the impact on the sensitive surroundings. The permanent basement structure will consist of a reinforced concrete box whose walls are propped by the basement, middle and upper slabs through which are inserted the reinforced concrete core and service risers. The top slab at ground floor level will be designed for the envisaged highways loading.