Silver Winner in Refurb & Restoration | 2022

Francisco Javier Fernandez Nuevo
Knight Harwood
All Finalists

Knight Harwood

British Academy of Film and Television Arts, London W1

British Academy of Film and Television Arts, London W1: refurbishment of grade II-listed building and addition of fourth storey, completed in 66 weeks. 

Client: BAFTA 

Contract: Design and build 

Value: £30m 

About the Project

Just because it’s old – in this case a grand Victorian structure from 1883 – doesn’t mean a traditional approach is best. On this scheme to refurbish a grade II-listed building and add a new storey, Javier Fernandez Nuevo repeatedly showed the power of innovative thinking.  

His biggest win was to change the lifting methodology for the existing steel frame supporting two heritage rooflights. The original idea was to hang the frame from an 18-tonne temporary steel structure and then lift it into its new position three metres higher. Instead, Javier jacked up the rooflight frame from below, using the existing internal birdcage steel for bracing.  

It was a similar story with scaffold towers hosting the hoists for the formation of a new lift shaft and installation of new theatre trusses. Javier eliminated the time and expense of building temporary structures for the scaffold towers by supporting them off the new permanent steel frame instead. 

Just as effective was his rotation of the plasterboard-supporting metal grid for the theatre ceiling when clashes emerged between the new services and the existing timber joists. It avoided a recoordination of the service design and slashed the number of acoustic hangers needed.  

A collaborative construction manager and an excellent communicator, Javier hugely impressed the client.