This imposing building in Kensington London was originally built in the 1920’s with the engineer Oscar Faber, an expert in reinforced concrete. Architect and Designer Jeffrey James was asked by the Church to redesign and open up the entranceway with the addition of more functional and pleasing reading room. This was achieved by considerably increasing the width of existing window at ground floor and removing internal load bearing walls.
The installation of the picture frames in the front elevation was carefully monitored, the frame was pre-stressed by inducing deflection in the frame equal to the self-weight of the four storeys of load bearing external wall above to ensure no dead load deflection of the frame.
Assessing the loads to a building, that had been chopped up and altered over the years, was a challenge but an elegant design by the Architect and good working relationship with the contractors, enabled this redesign to be a success for all those involved.
Client: First Church of Christ Scientist
Architect: Jeffrey James