Exemplar were retained by Rio Tinto in 2010 to redevelop the mining giant’s former headquarters for new state of the art office premises. The property is located in historic St James’s Square in London’s West End, possibly the most exclusive and certainly expensive address in the UK.
The mixed use scheme comprised 115,000sqft of grade A office accommodation over ground and 6 upper floors with the added complexity of two entrances – one off St James’s Square and one off Babmaes Street. As part of the project, Exemplar also refurbished the 15,000 sqft grade II* listed building at No 5 St James’s Square as well as the delivery of 13 high spec residential apartments.
The project challenges included rights of light matters issues, building adjacent to highly treasured listed buildings, a wide variety of neighbours on the ground, sensitive planning matters, challenging statutory suppliers (temporary facilities requiring 12 cables that had to be passed through a grade II* listed building) as well as a very challenging groundwork’s packages being undertaken next to an adjacent development site.
The project competed on time (March 2014) and within budget. The listed building and the flats were sold off plan to UK purchasers.
A spokesperson from Rio Tinto said, “We are delighted with the redevelopment of St James’s Square – the mix of the apartments, the refurbishment of the listed building and our new headquarters building presented a challenging project which Exemplar embarked on with considerable profession.”