Adapting a Firm Foundation: 22 Bishopsgate

The annual Year in Infrastructure conference was recently held in London, UK. This conference, hosted by Bentley Systems, is the home of the Be Inspired Awards, which bring together experts from across the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries.

The winner of the Innovation in Structures category for 2016 was a tricky project indeed. Imagine a 62-story, 912-ft tower in the heart of London’s financial district, designed to be a vertical village replete with restaurants, retail, fitness centers and more.

Now, imagine building it on the basement of a completely different building. Think of the analysis that would be required to determine what could be kept, what had to go and how best to transfer the structure’s weight.

This was the essence of the 22 Bishopsgate project.

22 Bishopsgate is a tower project in the heart of London. (Image courtesy of WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.)


Designing a New Building Over an Old One

The finalist nominated for the 22 Bishopsgate project was WSP Group of WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff (WSP), which, in addition to features such as the building’s acoustics, façade, geotechnics and fire protection, was responsible for the structural design.

Now, this ended up being a bigger issue than it is for most buildings. The site for 22 Bishopsgate had previously been the site for what was called the Pinnacle, another tower project approved for construction in 2006.

However, in 2012, the project was halted in part due to…

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