Sea Containers House, as it was formerly known, was designed by the highly acclaimed American Modernist architect Warren Platner in 1974 as a luxury hotel. Located towards the eastern end of London's South Bank cultural area, the Thames passes in front and below the building linking it with lots of famous river-side attractions such as the Festival Hall, the National Theatre, the Tate Modern, the Oxo Tower and the Globe Theatre.
During construction however, its location near the City of London led to the decision to evoke a change of use and complete it instead as office space. It eventually opened its doors in 1978 and took its name from the former long-term tenant, Sea Containers.
The South wing was eventually renovated as the Mondrian Hotel London, which opened on 30 September 2014 bringing at least part of the building back to its original intended use.
The hotel then later became independent and was aptly renamed Sea Containers London Hotel in January 2019, at which point further extensive refurbishment was conducted. Main features of the project included the creation of the reception and entrance areas to include a replica of the hull of the Cutty Sark ship, made from copper to form the reception desk.
The refurbishment of the building included the removal of the cellular structural walls that originally formed the partitions of the hotel suites as well as installing structural steel into the existing concrete frame so that structural partitions could be removed opening up the floor space. This allowed for the re-use of the existing structure in lieu of full demolition.
The new build office was also designed for rapid construction and comprised a structural steel frame with composite metal deck concrete slabs and a slip formed core, allowing for offsite prefabrication, a key driver on a constrained site. TThe perimeter cladding also followed the same principle and was designed and constructed with unitised cladding panels consisting of precast concrete with polished reconstituted stone cladding and glazing.
The project timescale from commencement to completion was 20 months.
EEncompassing a workforce of up to 100 trades and managerial personnel, including off site prefabrication Metsec technology, ensured a large-scale project to be completed within a congested environment in under 2 years. The project was completed within the budget allocated at the initial costing and quantity survey phase, being £10m.
When utilising the footplate scale, elements of EBITDA volumes and trading capacities the property is estimated to now be worth in excess of £63m.