Harrods Central Escalators : Knightsbridge
- Project value: £21M
- Contract duration: 78 Weeks
- Client: Norwest Holst Construction
We were very proud to accept the responsibility to manage the Technical Services for the Main Contractor who had won arguably the most prestigious contract with the retail industry.
Harrods had seen a vision to create a 90 foot high Ancient Egyptian Temple complete with stone columns, statues, bronze balustrades which featured cobras and sphinx heads all under a central ceiling utilising fibre optical lighting which depicted a night sky and is forever changing.
From a structural and services aspect it was a tremendous challenge as not only were all the works to be undertaken whilst the sales floors continued to trade, but because the temple was at the very centre of the building where the existing original main service plant and switch rooms were planned to be removed and relocated to make room for further basement trading areas.
At the commencement of the contract the existing passenger lifts at the heart of the store were removed completely, and whilst a new steel frame was being erected within the 8 storey space works were being carried out to construct a new mains switchroom and plantroom on the roof. Procurement of the equipment needed to be timely to keep to the programme agreed, and it was just as important to carefully plan and arrange the delivery in order to allow the retail store to continually receive its own deliveries.
In order to successfully decommission the original switchroom, complex electrical changeover processes were agreed with each retail department head to ensure that they continued trading without any power or communication downtime. Similarly the required ventilation changeovers were undertaken so as not to cause issue with the running of the store and eventually all new ventilation plant was installed onto the roof with new ductwork links connecting the new central stair and escalator.
The ventilation paths within the temple were integrated within the columns diffusing air into the new open temple space via huge block columns on each level. The finishes within the building were installed by specialists and artisans incorporating exclusive finishes throughout.