London & South East

Kensington hotel to become luxurious apartments

A former hotel in Kensington is currently being redeveloped to create luxury accommodation for the prime residential market.

The project will transform the former 50+ bedroom John Howard Hotel at 4 – 6 Queens Gate into eighteen apartments. Two independent mews houses are also being created.

Work commenced on the site in May 2010 and currently the apartments are undergoing structural alterations, including the removal of two lifts, a restaurant and a commercial kitchen housed in the basement.

Westgreen Construction is the main contractor and their in-house team RIBA Chartered Architectural Practice, Westgreen Studio, is the architect. MPA Construction Consultants is the contract administrator and quantity surveyor, whilst Environmental Engineering Partnership (EEP) is the mechanical and electrical consultant. The structural consultant is Jenkins & Potter Consulting Engineers.

Interestingly, Westgreen Studio was not the original architect appointed for the project. Following a competitive tendering process, Westgreen Construction was employed as the main contractor. Westgreen Studio was brought onboard afterwards.

Westgreen’s Managing Director, John Gilsenan, explained:

“The client was looking to change architects for the delivery of the project, so they approached us about finishing the executive architecture work on the project. It is a rather unusual situation as we are contracted for the building element of the project and we also hold a separate appointment as the architect, but it has several advantages.

“We identified an opportunity to create additional floor area in the basement of the mews buildings – situated to the rear of the property – as well as improve layouts.

“Our in-house architectural team then compiled a presentation offering the client revised layouts and a generous percentage increase of the floor area, which was then agreed.

“For the client to come to us with a scheme that already has a plan in place and then for us to deliver a one-stop solution that combines architecture and contracting is, for us, a fantastic achievement that offers advantages to the client and the overall project.”

Following the structural alterations windows will be fitted and plastering work will be conducted. The internal walls will receive a mix of painted plaster finish and fabric coverings, whilst bathrooms will feature ceramic tiles and natural stone.

The conversion of the stable mews is a significant aspect of the project and will provide options for the transformation of subterranean rooms into small cinemas, gyms and/or living quarters.

4 – 6 Queens Gate will be completed in December 2012.

 Mercer Welding

Mercer Welding is a specialist in the fabrication and installation of difficult structural steel work.  Company founder Roger Mercer has twenty six-years experience in the industry and predominantly works on existing structures.

On 4-6 Queens Gate Mercer Welding is responsible for the supply and installation of reinforced steel.  This includes transporting the material through two lift shafts and fabricating and installing it.

Mercer Welding Founder Roger Mercer said: “At Mercer Welding we are known as problem solving specialists and we always welcome a challenge when taking on our next job.”

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