november 2018

Meeting three demanding criteria at Number Three

There were three key criteria that ME Constriction had to meet in carrying out major refurbishment works at number three, Duke of York Street - set in the exclusive area of St James's, close to Piccadilly in the City of Westminster.

In addition to having to deliver its usual high quality product on time and within budget, ME Construction also had to ensure that the EAT Restaurant on the building’s ground floor wasn’t inconvenienced in serving its many customers. Moreover, it had to ensure that the restaurant’s customers and all the people who made use of the adjacent yard – a very busy thoroughfare – weren’t inconvenienced during the works either.

“I’m delighted to say that we were able to meet all three criteria,” said Steve Jeal, the company’s project manager who was responsible for the work. The £800,000 project, which lasted some six months, involved ME Construction in replacing the building’s roof; installing a new heating and cooling system; new plumbing, as well as new wall and floor coverings in 30mm thick marble.

“We gave the building a complete, new, mechanical and electrical ‘fit out’,” continued Steve.

“Among other things, we installed new lighting throughout the building; refurbished the existing mahogany doors – re-polishing them and installing upgraded locks and glass. We also added a new lift and refurbished the staircase, using both marble and mirrors to enhance the ‘look and feel’ of the building for all users. We’ve also created a new kitchenette on each floor, providing autonomy – in terms of catering – for each floor’s users.

“All the old floorboards were stripped and, where necessary, replaced,” he added. “The plasterwork on the walls and ceilings was also upgraded. Moreover, in addition to refurbishing the offices throughout the building, we also created a new meeting room on the building’s lowest floor.

“While all this work was going on, we made it a priority to ensure that we didn’t impede the general public or those working at the EAT Restaurant on the building’s ground floor,” said Steve. “All of these issues – successfully met - made this a most enjoyable and challenging project.”

As with most buildings in that area, the building isn’t ‘listed’, although it is of historic interest. Most likely to have been named in honour of James, Duke of York, who, in 1685, became King James II, Duke of York Street received its first houses a year or so before this. The first official mention of the street is in rate books of 1686. By 1720, the street had numbered among its residents aristocrats including the Duke of Ormond and Lord Cornwallis.

The project, begun in the summer of 2016, was the first project that ME Construction had carried out for both the client and for the project’s architects, Donald Insall Architects. Donald Insall Architects specialises in working on historic buildings and has offices in London as well as in five other towns around the UK. It also has an office in Trinidad & Tobago.