Meet the Finalists

2022 | Refurb & Restoration

Azir Ali MCIOB

Royal College of Surgeons England, London WC2: extension and refurbishment of grade II*-listed building, completed in 191 weeks. 

Client: Royal College of Surgeons 

Contract: JCT 2011, design and build  

Value: £80m 

About the Project

Royal College of Surgeons England, London WC2

Digging a double basement at the rear of a listed building as part of a new-build extension is a high-risk business. But when that basement is set alongside a triple basement being simultaneously constructed by a different project, the chances of headache and frustration go through the roof. Azir Ali’s skilful relationship management ensured this never happened.  

Azir’s relocation of the site crane partway through the build allowed the new atrium to be made watertight early and gave a faster start to the basement fit-out. His use of off-site manufacture – prefabricated plantroom and riser modules, precast concrete for the frame and the boundary walls, and the atrium’s barrel vault roof – accelerated progress even further. 

Within the retained building, he 4D-modelled the new fire and M&E services. For the listed library, he fed mist system pipework through the floor above, concealing the mist heads within the library ceiling’s feature rose petal pattern. He spent a year designing a ventilation solution that passes chilled and heated air through grilles in the library’s floor to new ceiling vents that match the ceiling. 

His scaffolding solution for the retained facade halved the number of ties going into it. Likewise on the new-build facade, he designed out the need for scaffold altogether by using the precast concrete ledges as a working platform. Costs and programme were reduced. 

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