Wates bags landmark life sciences job in London


Wates has been appointed to deliver one of the largest office-to-life sciences conversion projects in central London. 

Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square. Credit: Wates.

Property investors and developers Oxford Properties Group and Pioneer Group hired the company as the main build contractor to convert Grade II-Listed Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square to a 300,000 sq ft life sciences hub. 

It will feature offices and labs, as well as amenity, meeting and retail spaces, and a lounge and roof terrace. 

The main fabric of the building will be retained, including its heritage finishes and features, along with the existing original windows. 

In partnership with SES Engineering Services, Wates will use renewable technologies and modern methods of construction (MMC) such as offsite prefabricated modules for mechanical and electrical (M&E) services throughout.   

The existing M&E infrastructure will be upgraded, and the finished building will be primarily heated by air source heat pumps. 

CBRE and JLL have been appointed as the leasing agents.   

The main phase of development is due to complete in the autumn. 

Robin Everall, head of development, Europe, at Oxford Properties, said: “Wates is a leading construction company with a highly skilled team, which makes them ideally suited to undertake the refurbishment of the iconic Victoria House into a state-of-the-art lab space.  

“The group’s strong ESG credentials and experience in sustainable construction methods will help us create a one-of-a-kind, cutting-edge life sciences development in the heart of London.” 

Mark Craig, regional director for London at Wates, added: “We are proud to play a key role in transforming this Grade-II listed landmark into a state-of-the-art facility at the heart of London, whilst preserving and celebrating the unique heritage features it has to offer.” 

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