Scotland Yard

Structural Designer

Arup

Client Name

Metropolitan Police Authority

Location

London, UK

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR: BAM  

ARCHITECT: AHMM

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The new headquarters for the Metropolitan Police Service in the refurbished Curtis Green Building on Victoria Embankment is part of London’s Whitehall property estate. It is classed as having special heritage interest and has a prominent position on the Thames, close to the Palace of Westminster. Arup’s work with architects AHMM focused on designing high-quality, contemporary offices by adding an extra floor to the building, extending the floor plate and reducing the density of columns. This was achieved whilst still respecting the grain of the original architecture and limiting work to the existing structure.

Judge's comment:

This major redevelopment of the Curtis Green building on Victoria Embankment sees New Scotland Yard returning to its historic location after two changes of address since the 1880s. The building was constructed in 1935 to house the force’s technical department, and required extensive modernisation, extension and refurbishment in order to provide a highly sophisticated working environment while maintaining the look and feel of the elegant edifice.

The engineers not only managed to preserve the imposing river façade intact, but also retained almost 90% of the original structure, while increasing the overall floor area through extensions and the addition of a very architecturally sympathetic rooftop pavilion. They managed this by carefully assessing the loadbearing characteristics of the existing structure throughout the building, removing heavy internal walls (in order to provide a modern open plan working environment) and then carefully reducing the number of columns . By using lightweight construction, redistributing load so as to minimise onerous reinforcement, and working closely with the architects, they reduced the quantity of structural work to a minimum while retaining the vast majority of the existing building fabric. A new entrance pavilion with a fully glazed curved façade was designed to comply with the stringent security parameters inherent in a building of this nature.