Smoke control for luxury ‘Goldfinger bank vault’ hotel

Project title: 27 Poultry

Location: Central London

Client: Ardmore Group

Service: Smoke Control

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.

Photos © Ardmore Group

The Project

The Client
Group SCS 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 Involvement
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.

Our 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.

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.

Luke Wilczek, Project Manager at Group SCS:
“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."
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