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To the Editor of The Structural Engineer. Sir,-Our attention has been drawn to a paper entitled “Casing Piles, Damaged by Marine Worms, in Reinforced Concrete and Other Repairs at Swanage Pier,” by Major F. M. DuPlat Taylor, read before the members of the Institution of Structural Engineers, and published in the May issue of The Structural Engineer.
The new building of the Underground Railways Headquarters in Broadway, Westminster, has more than usual claims to distinction. In its planning, structural design and architectural grouping, it is probably the most notable building of modern times. With its central tower 180 ft. above pavement level, it is the highest commercial block in London, overshadowing that 12-storied aristocrat of residential buildings opposite (Queen Anne's Mansions), which for some three generations has enjoyed the distinction of being the highest inhabited building in the Metropolis. Much has already been published in the leading architectural journals, as well as in the daily press, concerning the building itself and its furnishings, but as so frequently happens, the treatment of the foundations and methods employed in erection of the framework have not perhaps received the studied attention desirable from the structural engineer's viewpoint. Hence the purpose of this paper, to endeavour to throw a little more light upon such matters. Before, however, passing on to the essentials, it will be as well to touch briefly on some leading features of the building which may assist in appreciating the importance of firm foundations for its support. M.J. McCarthy
Rebuilding on sites already occupied is a, common enough experience nowadays and the problems in connection with the design and ccnstruction of the foundations are often numerous and interesting. Sites in congested areas of towns, and bounded by party walls with soil of low bearing value are, of course, the most difficult to deal with. The question as to how much, if any, of the existing foundations can economically be utilised has to be considered, but in the majority of cases, as new buildings are both considerably higher and deeper than formerly, the increased loads on the foundations usually make it unnecessary to seriously consider this question. T.F. Burns