This is a new one for FDS Fire and Security – installing a life safety system in a building that’s already been partially destroyed by fire. The former Old Street Royal Mail Sorting Office was undergoing major refurbishment in 2015, when a fire broke out.
The fire occurred during the demolition stage of the project, when the site was empty. Affecting five floors, the fire was concentrated around the central lift shaft, which of course acted like a chimney. Eight fire engines later, the blaze was brought under control.
The project was also brought back on track, and 148 Old Street in Islington has been reborn as 160 Old Street, a 152,000 sq ft office redevelopment. The 11 floors include double-height spaces overlooking courtyards and terraces, with airy, breakout spaces for collaborative working. The main entrance has a café and informal, relaxing spaces.
New owners Great Portland Estates has four retail units and five office areas to let. Old Street has become a lively hub, home to tech businesses, and with good transport links. Naturally, given the building’s history, fire safety was at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and we were appointed by T Clarke to install a comprehensive life safety system.
We are currently fitting installing a fire alarm system (Advanced with Apollo protocol), disabled refuge, disable toilet alarms and aspirating systems.
Thanks to Orms Architects, this rather unappealing 1970s building will be transformed into a contemporary style commercial place. A gently curving glass and brick exterior replaces the old brown cladding, with its current ground-floor car park turned into a welcoming communal space. Roof terraces and green roofs will add some welcome foliage to Islington, and create a much nicer outlook for others on Old Street. We’re looking forward to seeing the finished product – and thanks to our robust safety systems, there won’t be a repeat on the 2015 incident.