Concert has completed the development of the centenary extension at the prestigious Royal Air Force Club, Mayfair, London. The Club, which was founded in 1918 and opened its doors in 1922, has approximately 25,000 members and serves serving and former-serving Officers and their families.
Concert was appointed as Project Manager in the autumn of 2015. The project began on site in Q3 of 2016, Concert worked closely on this project with Paul Murphy Architects, Glanville Group and Jnoad Ltd. Due to the restricted access and complexity of the project, the scheme was split into two contracts, an enabling works and main build contract, which allowed the works to commence whilst Concert and the project team worked with the RAF Club to develop the detailed design.
The RAF Club had identified a need for more bedrooms for the exclusive use of its members, improved business facilities and a fitness centre with contemporary facilities.
As a Grade 2 listed building, located in one of the most expensive areas of London, property is at a premium and an innovative solution was sought to deliver the client’s requirements that would also work with the existing building structure and floor levels.
Through extensive discussions amongst the architects and the profession team, a solution was devised whereby two under used squash courts could be redeveloped.
Meticulous planning enabled the creation of 17 further bedrooms (12 doubles, two accessible rooms and three singles) three of which enjoy roof top views. In addition, a new business suite on the first floor, fitness centre on the ground floor, staff canteen and laundry facilities were also delivered.
Construction of the project began with the assembly of an eight-storey steel frame to create the structure for the new rooms including a stair and lift core. All construction took place whilst the rest of the Club remained in operation. This presented a number of challenges, not least the requirement to install a tower crane to erect the new wing, which entailed closing Piccadilly over two weekends to allow access. The organising of this procedure was very complex due to the number of stake holders involved and took up to six months to plan.
Miles Pooley FIH MI, RAF Club Chief Executive said:
“The centenary extension delivered exciting new facilities for RAF Club members in our 100th year. An underutilised space within the building has been transformed into a stylish, contemporary area of the Club for members to stay, work and exercise.”
The RAF Club was completed in time to welcome the Club’s Royal Patron since 1952, Her Majesty the Queen, to celebrate its centenary year. The Queen, during her visit, officially opened the new centenary extension, as well as unveiling a series of newly-commissioned artworks.