THE CHALLENGEThis new 270,000 sq ft Liverpool hub was refurbished to hold 4,500 staff as part of the HMRC’s estate strategy to close all of its existing 180 individual offices.
The challenge of retaining the history and heritage of the Grade II* listed building whilst creating modern offices to suit flexible working styles required every detail to be painstakingly worked through.
The carbon emissions were to be measured and assessed throughout the project to minimise the environmental impact of the fitout and to help reach the ‘B’ EPC and BREEAM ‘Very Good’ ratings which were ultimately achieved for the building.
THE APPROACHIn the pledge to retain and restore the original fittings, Merlin undertook a full refurbishment process of over 1,000 items of ironmongery including Pull Handles, Lever Handles, Door Knobs, Locks, Letter Plates and Push Plates for these to be refitted in their former glory throughout the building.
Where new items were required to match in with the existing, products were manufactured bespoke to tie into the original heritage finishes.
A full door automation supply & install package was provided by Merlin throughout the building to assist with the Accessibility requirements which included automatic overhead closers, finger guards, sensors and push pads. Many of these items were also supplied in bespoke finishes to match with other heritage-style products being installed.
Numerous other special finish bronze, satin brass, antique brass and polished brass hardware items were supplied tying in with various existing features of the building.
THE BUILDINGDesigned by architects Arnold Thornely and Herbert J Rowse, this remarkable building, which has a main entrance on Water Street, was built between 1924 and 1932 for the Blue Funnel shipping line, owned by Alfred Holt. The design of the building was influenced by the Italian Renaissance and incorporated features of the American Beaux-Arts style. It included an arcade of shops running through it and an entrance to an underground station.
After being damaged by a bomb during World War II, India Building was restored to its original condition and went on to be occupied by government offices, insurance companies and a post office at different times.