Merchant House, Wellington Place, Belfast

merch sq 2
merch sq 8

Merchant House, Wellington Place, Belfast

The works comprise of the complete transformation of 3 existing buildings formerly known as Ferguson,Roysten and Oyster Houses to create circa 210,000 sq/ft of Grade ‘ A ‘ office space right in the centre of Belfast.

Delivered within the heart of Belfast's vibrant city centre, Merchant House has been completely transformed, becoming one of the city's iconic, catalyst structures both functionally and architecturally.  Initially three separate 7 & 8 storey buildings comprising of Oyster House, Ferguson House & Royston House, each building was stripped  back to their core and meticulously stitched back together to form one cohesive 220,000 sq.ft office space.  The statement building was delivered through a mixture of new build and extensive structural refurbishment works.

As the building was also receiving a new facade, we had to carefully remove the existing Precast Concrete facade panels which were mechanically fixed back to the floor slab on each level.  Each panel weighed circa 2.5 tonne and had to be removed at night when the footway and road below was closed. In total 186 panels were removed weighing over 465 tonnes in total. The building also had two full length glass facades that had to be removed during night closure, completed within a controlled environment.

Due to the increased loading and additional structural steel significant piling was required within the existing structure. In total we installed 200 mini driven piles averaging a depth of 22.4m and 48 CFA plies to depth of 22m, driven with a 22-tonne piling rig. The Mini piles were completed within and around the existing structure to support the new steel frame which included 20 piles within the live units. To achieve it was necessary in some instances to temporarily relocate the existing retailers so as to ensure they remained operational throughout the works.

With over 1000 tonnes of structural steel erected within the existing structure the project was technically complex. Holes were cored through the floor slabs to allow the new columns to be dropped through the floors and connected to the new foundation structure. Connection of the new structural frame to the existing necessitated the undertaking of a full digital scan of the existing structure to determine the as-built set out followed by the detailed modelling of the new frame.

Façade – one of the most striking refurbishments completed in Belfast, Merchants House existing, tired and drab precast concrete panels were replaced by a bespoke Unitised System, providing full length glazing to maximise daylight into the building. The distinctive rust like appearance of the weathered Corten provides a multitude of colours.  Areas to the back of the courtyard were completed with a glazed curtain walling system and Kingspan panelling.



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