SIR ROBERT McAlpine is set to pick up a £20 million deal to redevelop one of London's iconic landmarks.
The Ark building in Hammersmith was designed by the late Ralph Erskine - whose last major project in this country was the Greenwich Millennium Village - and is now set to undergo a major redevelopment to increase its office space.
Sir Robert McAlpine is currently negotiating the final details of the contract and is hoping to start construction work before Christmas.
The team behind the proposals is headed by Trevor Silver, the former chief executive of property developer Akeler, and former director Stephen Morgan who set up development company Landid last year.
The project team also includes GE Real Estate and O & H Property.
Distinctive for its hullshaped design recalling Noah's original, The Ark has had a chequered history since it was completed in 1992 and this overhaul is the latest attempt to put it back on the capital's office map. Covering 10 floors, the building lay empty for three years after it was built and was finally occupied by the drinks and entertainment business, Seagram.
It was then transferred to a Seagram subsidiary in 2002, which then went into liquidation. It currently stands empty.
Only 60 per cent of the current building can actually be occupied because an atrium, circulation space and communal areas restrict the amount of conventional off ice space available.
But planned changes to the interior designed by DN-A Architects will increase the amount of off ice space by a third.
The extra floor space will be created by removing a standalone structure in the building's lobby area. Most of the 76 m-tall building's internal structure will also be ripped out as part of the work.
The exterior of the building, which is situated next to the Hammersmith f lyover, will remain untouched.