Refurbishment of the Embassy and Consulate buildings, for the Norwegian Government 1990-91 (Satens Bygge-og Eiensdomdirecktorat, Oslo)

The Embassy occupies a fine Grade I Listed Building (circa 1820) on a corner site in Belgrave Square, part of the Grovenor Estate.

Over the previous seven years we had carried out smaller contracts for the repair of exterior and alterations to the internal arrangements and we has also undertaken the step-by-step refurbishment of the Ambassador’s residence in Palace Green. At the end of upgrading the building in Belgrave Square to bring it up to the standard required for the efficient functioning of a modern Embassy.

After a rigorous selection process, a Contractor was appointed to carry out a design and build contract on the basis of our detailed brief reflecting the requirements of the client. These included reordering the use of space within the building – for instance of the Consulate and the staff – the removal of an accretion of partitioning and fixtures, the insertion of a new cloakroom and kitchens, general repairs and the restoration of mouldings, fireplaces and original features.

The brief also included the insertion of a ducted mechanical ventilation system throughout the building as well as sophisticated mechanical, electrical and security installations and the renewal of the lift. All of these elements had to be inserted in a way that preserved principle rooms on the ground and first floor from visible intrusion and allowed for full access to services. We worked closely with Grosvenor Estates and with English Heritage to achieve an acceptable solution.

We acted as agents to the Norwegian Government department responsible and with appointed Mechanical Services Engineers and Quantity Surveyors. The work was successfully completed within the 12-month period during which the Embassy was away from the building.