Palestra, Blackfriars, London

Client: Southpoint General Partners. Value: £65 million. One of London’s largest quality speculative office developments, Palestra is eleven storeys high, has 28,000m² lettable space and is a landmark building. The footprint entirely fills the site and is adjacent to mainline railway lines. A three storey cantilevered high level section projects out over Blackfriars Road. Faithful+Gould was appointed as cost managers and planning supervisors from the outset in 2001.

Following gaining planning approval in 2002, the client, Southpoint General Partners, elected to follow a two stage Design and Build procurement route, culminating in the appointment of the contractor in September 2002. The existing design team were novated to the contractor in order to maintain continuity of the design development, whilst the client appointed a separate design team including Faithful+Gould to provide continuing professional advice. The challenge: To maintain cost control over the designs, and at the same time maintain the client’s aspirations, whilst not inhibiting the design team’s creativity. The scale, location, site parameters, adjoining roads, railways and design made this a challenging building to construct.

The final account was agreed significantly within the contract sum, the building is fully let.

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