61 Lever Street


61 Lever Street

Design and build office space fit out

Main Contractor: Parkeray

Completed: 2016

Duration: 6 months

Scope of works: Timber hoarding, drywall partitions and wall linings, self-supporting Metsec frame to support glazed offices, column encasements, plasterboard and lay-in ceilings, acoustic ceiling panels.

61 Lever Street was a large open plan, split-level space. It was a design and build project, and the overall look and feel was relatively modern with an exposed soffit showing the services. Freestanding glazed office pods filled the workspace.

AD Contracts were one of the first companies on site as we were asked to build the temporary timber hoarding around the project. Our next item of work was to line the perimeter walls of the open space using British Gypsum Gyplyner plasterboard lining system. There was approximately 1130m2 of wall lining with 300lm of plasterboard window reveals to be also formed.

As the project had an exposed soffit, we fitted a 15mm white aluminium shadow gap trim to the wall lining/soffit junction to give a neat finish.

There were also a number of concrete columns in the centre of the office space that we clad in the same manner as the perimeter walls.

Several basement areas were to be toilet and shower areas. All the toilet and shower cubicles were built with British Gypsum GypWall Classic partitioning system. These partition walls were reinforced with a layer of 12mm plywood and finally boarded with either British Gypsum moisture resistant plasterboard, as it was a wet area, or British Gypsum tile backer board, if the walls were to have ceramic tiles fixed to them.

Once again, these basement areas had no suspended ceilings in them, and the soffit was to remain exposed, so, again, we fitted a 15mm white aluminium shadow gap trim to the wall lining/soffit junction to give a neat finish.

Only one area needed a suspended ceiling — the laundry room — to hide some old ducting. In this area, we used the Armstrong Prelude lay-in grid system with a Knauf Danoline Danotile ceiling tile. These ceiling tiles are good in hygienic areas as they can be wiped clean.

Some areas of the main office space were then sectioned off into separate offices using drywall partitions. Many of these offices required high acoustic sound ratings; therefore we used British Gypsum Soundbloc plasterboard which gave us a higher dB rating than standard British Gypsum Wallboard. We also built some plasterboard bulkheads down from the soffit for the head of the glazed partitions to be fixed into. The riser cupboards were also made from drywall — for these, we used British Gypsum ShaftWall system.

One challenge we had was to create a curved drywall partition with a curved glass screen in the centre. With the help of some supporting steel posts, this became a very attractive feature.

One detail the architect required was a plasterboard raft. This raft needed to look as though it was floating and therefore could not be suspended from the soffit using hangers. Beneath this raft would be a fully glazed office, which could not support the weight of the plasterboard raft above either. The original design included a steel box section frame, which would support the plasterboard raft and also the glazing. This frame was to be clad in plasterboard yet kept as thin as possible to maintain the fully-glazed office look, and to give the raft the illusion of floating. Unfortunately, due to time and cost restraints, the steel frame was no longer a viable option. Parkeray and the architect asked AD Contracts to come up with an alternative solution.

We suggested using 70mm Metsec studs boxed in Metsec track, to form the posts of the frame, and 150mm Metsec stud and track, to form the rafters for the floating raft.

Metsec is a steel framing system akin to drywall, though of a heavier gauge and used predominantly for exterior walls on buildings. This solution was both a cheaper and faster option than the steel box section frame, so we were asked to proceed with the new design.

In the individual office pods, we installed a British Gypsum Casoline MF ceiling system and, fixed to these MF ceilings, we installed Baux acoustic panels. These panels were mounted on timber battens set back from the edges of the panels to, once again, create a floating illusion. To help with the acoustics of this open office area with an exposed concrete soffit, we installed sections of Baux acoustic panels fixed directly to the soffit where possible or mounted on timber battens if any services that were in the way.

Everything considered, after much hard work by all, AD-Contracts created a very modern office design that the client will enjoy for many years to come.


Zoe Georgiou

Fashion Illustrator