One of Europe’s largest wooden framed buildings, the Gramophone Works in Kensal Green, West London, has been brought back to life following a £25m refurbishment programme as part of a major collaboration between main contractors Grahams and M&E specialist, Dowds Group.
This historic building now offers some of greenest credentials of any work space in London, offering some 64,132 sq ft of office accommodation, five outdoor terraces overlooking the nearby Grand Union canal, a 2,400 sq ft reception and event space area, together with a café and bar.
As part of the refurbishment programme, Dowds installed sustainable PV units and heat pumps and low energy LED lighting to achieve the coveted ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating – a challenging task in part of a 100-year-old building which had never been designed to incorporate modern infrastructure.
Dowds Group Contracts Director, Wayne Kemp, explained: “We quickly discovered that working in a wooden framed structure also created several issues such as fire prevention, that needed to be addressed. This meant that we had to protect all new equipment with film before Graham Construction could spray the entire building with fire retardant.”
Work started on the site, which is spread over five floors, in August 2020 with Dowds providing a full design and installation service for a building which is now expected to be turned into a creative hub.
The Old Gramophone Works opened on its present site in the early 1920s. The building went on to house Saga Records, acquiring Trojan Records in 1975 and becoming the epicenter of reggae music for the whole of Europe .