Smoke control for luxury ‘Goldfinger bank vault’ hotel

A photograph of 27 Poultry where SCS Group carried out smoke control work. The former Midland Bank will open soon as 'The Ned'

27 Poultry where we have carried out smoke control work. With a bank vault once used in the James Bond film Goldfinger, the former Midland Bank will open soon as ‘The Ned’ hotel

Project title 27 Poultry
Location Central London

A picture of the lobby at 27 Poultry

The stunning lobby at 27 Poultry which features 92 verdite columns as well as rows of Grade-I listed banking counters

Project background

Located on a major historic thoroughfare and near to the famous Bank Junction at the heart of the city, 27 Poultry is a Grade I-listed building designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens in 1924.

Formerly the Midland Bank headquarters, its vault was famously used in the James Bond film Goldfinger – see the tweet below by the hotel’s team about the vault.

The building is in the final stages of its transformation into a luxury hotel by Soho House and the Sydell Group. It is due to open as ‘The Ned’ in Spring this year.

Renovated with sensitivity to Lutyens’ interiors and elevation, the 310,000 square feet hotel development will comprise 252 bedrooms and offer guests a choice of nine restaurants, rooftop and indoor swimming pools, a gym, spa and hamam.

A picture of the bank vault at 27 Poultry which was famously used in the James Bond film Goldfinger

The bank vault at 27 Poultry was famously used in the James Bond film Goldfinger

SCS Group’s involvement

SCS Group was brought in by Ardmore Group to design and install firefighting stairs on levels 1, 2 and 3 and smoke control in the basement on levels 1, 2 and 3.

Our work involves creating a standard shaft system, installing a mechanical system on each level with shafts to maintain tenable conditions in the common escape routes, stair vents to provide replacement air for the smoke shaft and dampers to prevent the smoke from spreading away from its origin.

SCS Group’s solution

After completing the design work in summer 2015, the necessary wiring and cabling was connected on site, working through the quirks of the building. Our work also involves installing local and main control panels, fitting fans for the firefighting stairs and the basement and installing actuators on the windows, enabling their automatic opening and closing to ventilate smoke.

A picture of one of the fans which forms part of SCS Group's smoke control system

One of the fans which forms part of our smoke control system

The development presented some interesting challenges. As a listed building, certain areas were out of bounds and we had to make alterations according to the space available without compromising the system’s efficiency. On one level, as we were unable to cut through the pre-existing slabs, the firefighting stairs functions in a split system.

Operated by the same controls, two fans are positioned either side of the slab to extract from a single shaft. Unable to be serviced by the shaft, the bottom floor features its own small fan which is operated from the same controls as the other fans in the building. In the event of a fire being detected in the lobby, the system would initiate smoke control and solely activate that fan to extract the smoke.

“This was a great building to be involved with, proving to be an interesting challenge. As it is a refurbishment, you have to work within a pre-constructed space which can be difficult. We enjoyed adapting to the space and have successfully kept the system intact while working around various obstacles

Luke Wilczek, Project Manager at SCS Group

Find out more about The Ned on its website below (