Grays Inn Road is situated in the heart of the Capital between the City of London and the West End. The area, close to Clerkenwell and St Pancras, is home to a wide range of media and tech companies. Great Portland Estates (GPE) purchased the 290,000+ sq ft 200 Grays Inn Road site in 2011 with a vision of developing the office space. GPE have renovated different floors of the building since their acquisition and in 2017 looked to refurbish the ground floor of the building. Ian McArdle Architects (IMA) were charged with designing the new facade, creating a large open reception area with common workspace and a café. The architect's vision included a near 4 storey glazed wall at the front of the building to maximise light and give an impressive entrance. Mace were contracted by GPE to carry out the multimillion pound refurbishment of the reception and main entrance. We worked with Mace and IMA to discuss the different disabled access options available in the reception area. We decided the best option was to design and install a hidden platform lift. The hidden platform lift would provide disabled access but would disappear into the ground with only the stainless steel trim visible. This type of platform lift is extremely popular in commercial buildings where architects are looking for a continuation of materials and design across a whole project.
200 Grays Inn Road has several tenants but 60% of the offices are let to ITN and ITV. The majority of the offices is made up of open plan common workspace and several newsrooms. The nature of the tenants means that workers are regularly in and out of the office. This means that disabled access needs to function extremely well and be incredibly reliable. The lift rises a total of 360mm across the 3 steps in the reception with a traverse of 900mm. The platform measures 1180mm x 1500mm which allows large wheelchair and even electric buggies to use it. The rated load of the hidden platform lift is 385kg. The architect finished the lift with the same stone as the rest of the reception. The reception was opened in October 2018 with additional work on the ground floor being carried out into 2019.
To see similar projects to 200 Grays Inn Road click on the following links: Specialist Step lift at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Platform Lifts at the National Army Museum, Stairwell that becomes a lift at Chiswell Street, Platform Lift at Venture House in Reading and Platform Lift at Seven Dials Warehouse, London.
Year Completed: 2018