ReardonSmith’s seven-year, multi-million pound rebuilding and refurbishment programme at Grosvenor House in Park Lane was completed in July 2008. The hotel had stayed open throughout, which, for ReardonSmith, acting as project leader and co-ordinator, presented significant planning and site management challenges that required rigorous phasing of all works to minimise disruption. In the course of the project, ReardonSmith administered seven contracts, worked with two different operators and provided over 60 architects, technicians and administrators.
The most striking architectural intervention was the upgrading of the main forecourt and entrance. Two substantial cantilevered and lit glass canopies were introduced, the combined weight of which was over 14 tonnes, rising over a newly ramped courtyard surfaced in Chinese granite. Inside, all 446 guestrooms and suites were refurbished and a further 48 rooms added, all designed to meet the luxury standards of a JW Marriott. Most of the public areas were refurbished and, in the final phase, Brasserie Bord’eaux was introduced, recreating a traditional French brasserie of the 1920s.
For ReardonSmith, though, the extensive works to front-of-house spaces were just one part of the picture. An extensive back-of-house programme brought the services infrastructure up to the highest level of efficiency and health and safety. This included the installation of 5,560 sprinkler heads, nearly 10,000 metres of new pipe-work and the installation of 280 tonnes of marble on the guestroom floors alone. New fire alarm systems were introduced and all 20 lifts upgraded.