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Open Doors Week: Willmott Dixon's One Puddle Dock

Willmott Dixon is currently in the middle of one its largest office refurbishments in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Willmott Dixon Interiors is in the process of stripping out and refitting One Puddle Dock, a six-storey office building situated just above Blackfriars station in central London.

Open doors 2016 wilmott dixon one puddle dock 1

River views and railways on Willmott Dixon’s One Puddle Dock

Construction News is shown around the site by building manager James Richards, who takes us through some of the more difficult elements of the project.

The team is in the process of stripping back the existing building to its shell, and will fit it out with over 100,000 sq ft of category A office space.

Willmott Dixon has been on site since August 2015 and Mr Richards says that it is turning out to be a “flagship” project for the contractor.

Due to its close proximity to Blackfriars station, the team has also had to deal with some unusual neighbours.

“We’ve got the Thameslink line running through the building, and we’ve also had to deal with London Underground,” Mr Richards explains.

“There’s a vent at the back of the building where you can actually see down to the District line and the Circle line.”

He adds that the team have had a number of night-time and weekend possessions to put up scaffolding above the Thameslink line that hangs off the roof.

Willmott Dixon has also worked closely with client Network Rail on making the design and delivery of the building as efficient as possible.

The original contract value of £23m was value engineered down to £18m, but the team soon discovered extensive asbestos on the site, which increased the cost back up to £22m.

There has been a great deal of collaboration across the supply chain, with 20 subcontractors in total, including M&E specialists Gratte Brothers and demolition firm Squibb Group working on the site.

“On this project, because of the size of it, we’ve got quite a few new subcontractors working with us,” Mr Richards says.

“We know they’d be able to handle the pressure when we’re fitting it out so quickly.”

He adds that Willmott Dixon is working closely with the local community to employ trainees and offer work experience on the site, and has engaged with South Bank University to provide site tours for students.

The team has only a year to turn around the project, with completion pencilled in for September 2016.

One Puddle Dock

Contractor: Willmott Dixon Interiors
Client: Network Rail
Project value: £23m
Start date: August 2015
End date: September 2015

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