In 1911, The Royal Automobile Club moved into 8991 Pall Mall, a beautiful grade II* listed building with magnificent Portland stone frontage, Doric colonnades and décor in the French Renaissance style. It is now home to one of London’s finest clubs, with exhibition space, banqueting rooms, restaurants, library, business centre, cocktail bar, Long Bar, squash courts, an Edwardian basement swimming pool and Turkish baths, and 84 bedrooms.
In partnership with EPR Architects we were awarded the contract to carry out all the building works for a completely new fifth floor, M&E and the refurbishment of 28 bedrooms on the existing fourth floor. This was an architecturally sensitive undertaking that required close consultation with English Heritage.
In the club’s centenary year, guests will now approach their bedrooms on the new fifth floor along a breathtaking suspended glass corridor, and each room has rooftop views across St James’s and London. The 28 rooms below have been sympathetically refurbished, including new lighting and architraves, and we created two kitchen areas to serve both fourth and fifth floors. In addition, all works had to be conducted to a precise timetable. We identified ‘no noise’ periods and including pre-booked functions through regular meetings with the Club building management; giving as much as two months’ notice for major phases in our schedule of works.
Plant had to remain operational throughout, so we split the M&E services provision and the refurbishment of the fourth floor bedrooms. By concentrating on one end of the building we could hand over half of the fourth floor for guest use a full 13 weeks ahead of schedule, and completed the remaining rooms behind a false wall.
We chaired design coordination meetings to manage the interior design aspects of the project, and recognising the asbestos risk in a building of this age, held monthly asbestos awareness training courses for all site operatives.
The end result brings the Royal Automobile Club’s total accommodation to 104 rooms, the potential for greater revenue and the draw of those inspiring rooftop views. As the Club puts it: “and hasn’t it been worth the wait!”
“IN THE CLUB’S CENTENARY YEAR, GUESTS WILL NOW APPROACH THEIR BEDROOMS ON THE NEW FLOOR ALONG A BREATHTAKING SUSPENDED GLASS CORRIDOR, AND EACH ROOM HAS ROOFTOP VIEWS ACROSS ST JAMES’S AND LONDON.”