The Salt House — a mixed use redevelopment in London's Soho — was welcomed by the local planning department but subject to tight deadlines for demolition and construction. The new building provides five retail units at basement and ground levels, with three floors and a penthouse, providing 15 apartments.
A number of challenges had to be addressed. An unstable neighbouring property was also undergoing redevelopment and close liaison concerning the party wall was essential. Another neighbouring building houses a recording studio with sensitive equipment, and a street market had to relocate to accommodate Salt House construction. As far as possible, work was scheduled to allow other businesses to continue trading.
In addition, the Soho streets are narrow, restricting vehicular access. A right of way through the site provides a fire escape from the rear of nearby buildings and had to be kept clear at all times. Finally, a previously unidentified live gas main was discovered and had to be supported during basement excavation.
To maximise usable space, the building's footprint runs to the pavement and the party wall. A groundbearing concrete raft foundation has been used as a speedily constructed cost-effective solution. It supports four floors of concrete frame, walls and floor slabs. The fifth floor penthouse sits directly on the upper slab, framed in lightweight steel, which allowed longer clear spans. Also on the fifth fourth floor are a green roof and terrace. The facades are clad in masonry, ceramic tile and timber.
Retail access is at street level, and services for each unit are self-contained in the basements. The apartments' lobby is at ground floor level, with services and cycle storage below.