Construction firm Mansell’s head for heights has ensured that the company has successfully delivered the completion of the first phase of a multi-million refurbishment ahead of schedule, which is set to transform one of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings – St Andrew House, into a Premier Inn hotel.
Located on the corner of West Nile Street and Sauchiehall Street, the towering 17-storey building was built in 1962, representing one of the city’s first skyscrapers and will now mark its 50th anniversary with a 21st century makeover.
The scheme, on behalf of West Nile Construction (a joint venture involving ING and Regent Capital) with a construction value of £17.5m, has seen Mansell completely remove and replace the previous concrete façade of St Andrew House with glass curtain walls and aluminium frames.
With the first phase complete, Mansell is now working on modifying the interior, creating a floor-plan that will encompass 210-bedrooms, a restaurant and bar, conference and meeting facilities, and a basement car park, as well as a number of retail outlets at the base of the tower block that will open out on to street level.
Converting the half a century old concrete tower into a leisure and retail development has had its challenges, as Callum Leslie, regional director in Central Scotland for Mansell, explains: “We had several obstacles to overcome in the first phase in our efforts to transform what’s essentially a utilitarian structure into something visually softer. Also, given that the building was constructed in the early 1960′s, there is very limited structural design information available, although we were able to source some original record drawings at the Mitchell Library.
“The change of usage from a practical office space to a hotel introduces demands for new service apertures and the removal of floors to accommodate the required service installations for St Andrew House’s new role. However, we worked closely with Ryder Architecture and this cohesive approach was instrumental in helping us to deliver ahead of schedule.”
The project benefits from the UK Government’s ‘Business Premises Renovation Allowance’ (BPRA) scheme. The initiative was first introduced in 2007, with the aim of supporting the renovation of derelict or disused commercial buildings to aid urban renewal and has been extended for a further five years.
Under the terms of BPRA, an initial allowance of 100% for expenditure is given on converting or renovating unused business premises within key locations in order to aid regeneration.
Callum Leslie says: “St Andrew House represents the first project in Scotland to receive Business Premise Renovation Allowance support in terms of an office to hotel conversion. With the continuing challenges of a stringent economic climate, combined with a growing culture for recycling and renewing, whether its energy, raw materials or revitalising disused buildings, support schemes such as this have a crucial role to play.”
With the first phase of St Andrew House complete, Mansell is now past the halfway point of the 101 weeks contract, as the project is scheduled to finish in August of next year.
Mansell is a UK-wide company incorporating Mansell Construction Services Ltd, Kirby MacLean Ltd and Hall & Tawse Joinery. Operating in a range of market sectors, including social housing, interior solutions, airports, defence, telecommunications, education, heritage and health, Mansell is part of the Balfour Beatty Group.
For further information about Mansell and its services, please visit www.mansell.plc.uk