Located within one of London’s most sought-after residential locations, Cheval Place is a prestigious serviced residential facility under the ownership of Cheval Residences. Set in the heart of Knightsbridge, Baxall secured the tender to carry out demolition works to the existing 1980s apartment block and the subsequent construction of a modern development housing 8 apartments and 2 floors of penthouse suites. The contract was extremely high profile which created a number of additional challenges above and beyond those typical of a central London contract.
Whilst the majority of the building was to be demolished and rebuilt, the basement (which housed the Metropolitan Safety Deposit Box company) was to remain and needed to stay fully operational and accessible, as did the adjacent and surrounding residences and businesses (including offices, a bank, restaurants and shops). Excellent communication and precision planning were paramount in order to ensure that the works were managed to accommodate these stakeholders with disruption minimised and safety maximised.
The Contracts Manager, Senior Site Manager and Assistant Site Manager carried out regular 1-2-1 liaison with affected residents and business owners to openly discuss the plans and how we could best accommodate each party. This included the Cheval Concierge, operational staff and night security officers, all with whom we collectively agreed site layout plans (including fire exits and access points) to enable them to carry out their daily duties. All parties had different requirements and priorities which required detailed logistical planning to accommodate all whilst ensuring a consistency in our own operations.
A major concern of the local businesses whose premises (including windows and staff entrances) backed onto the site, was security. To counteract this concern, the team carried out a range of voluntary measures to mitigate risk; these included temporarily bricking up windows which posed a potential trespass risk and relocating the existing CCTV system to fully cover the area.
The Site Manager compiled and issued a weekly ‘Look Ahead’ report which he distributed via e-mail and hand to all neighbours and businesses including the client. This report provided updates on what was happening and when, noisy periods and any likely disruption to be aware of, for example, a forthcoming road closure to enable delivery and erection of the steel frame.
Upon near completion of the new build, the team constructed a new service yard and storage units for residents and refurbished the lobby of the basement to compliment the new building design. The project was successfully delivered both to time and budget courtesy of value engineering to significantly reduce the Mechanical & Electrical works package and the controlled acceleration of site works to counteract time losses through party wall award complications. The client has subsequently used Cheval Place as the benchmark standard for future property developments.