In early 2014, Blue Sky Building (BSB) formed a joint venture with Sir Robert McAlpine to deliver the first two phases of Renzo Piano’s Masterplan for the development of the Selfridges flagship store in London’s Oxford Street.
The prime objective was to improve the connection of the Original Classic Building with SWOD to the north by removing the existing Somerset Link egress ramp that currently separates the buildings and to relocate the Team Entrance and office space on the third floor to a newly acquired building on Wigmore Street, significantly increasing retail space. Prior to the establishment of the joint venture, BSB provided pre-construction advice to determine the programme, methodology and buildability of the evolving design options and to assist with the client’s commercial appraisal.
Phase 1 comprised the construction of a 50m long steel truss ramp, which accommodated urban articulated lorries, linking the basement loading bay to street level. The ingress ramp from Orchard Street was widened to accommodate the larger vehicles and a new team entrance was created in Wigmore Street, linked to the store by a tunnel more than 10m underground, with two 28 metre escalators, a staircase and scenic lift.