South Kensington Shopping Arcade

The project was undertaken to repair and replace various building elements within the South Kensington Arcade Roof.

 The existing roof was supported by arched steel trusses, with timber purlins running over, which carry an aluminium frame glazing bar system which frames Georgian wired glazing panes.

 The roof is bookended by gable end walls which are known to have structural movement, which on an ongoing basis affected the existing glazing, making it move and crack. There was a risk that the cracked glazing could fall out of its frames, to the Arcade concourse below.

 If this did occur, it would cause substantial harm to anyone beneath, and would cause severe damage to Transport for London and businesses. The works provided TfL with a new roof glazing system and frames, new retail skylights and repaired interior finishes to a public shopping arcade situated above a busy tube, Grade II listed station.

 H.A. Marks carried out forensic paint analysis of the original paint work to identify the colour used pre 1st World War era to ensure the building was not only restored to its former glory but that the station arcade refurbishment will allow TfLs’ 16th busiest station to be a time capsule for all its passengers.

 A protective scaffolding crash deck was erected over the station arcade to enable a safe operation whilst undertaking the main works. The works comprised of the replacement of over 20 tonnes of glazing and sympathetically restoring the wooden frames, heritage plaster work, dating back to 1910. Repointed and capping’s to gable end walls, renewed flashings, and associated alterations to air-conditioning systems, of and replacement of selected retail skylights. There was also movement on the gable end walls which had to be secured prior to works – the solution had to be designed and developed with the heritage team, a metal bracing system was developed in keeping with the original theme of the Arcade.

 The project was carried out over a 9 month period without a single hour of lost business by any of the retail units.

 The works were completed in 3 phases:

Phase 1 – Relocation of air-conditioning, removal of Asbestos and Bracing of Gable ends


Phase 2 – Main roof glazing, replacement of skylights


Phase 3 – Internal plaster and decoration throughout A carefully planned traffic and logistics plan ensured deliveries and waste transfers occurred during nights which further minimised site impact to the local area and businesses.