One Sherwood Street
One Sherwood Street is a redevelopment project to create additional retail space and residential apartments behind London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights. We were employed by the developer, Landsec, to carry out works including demolition, façade retention, piling, and substructure works. 
The iconic Piccadilly Circus advertising platform has been in-situ since 1908 and is passed by more than 1.4 million people every year. It has evolved from humble beginnings as light-bulb text to neon signage and digital projectors, transforming to full LED screens in 2011 before Europe’s most technically advanced screen was installed in 2017. Landsec, who has owned the building since 1968, commenced the development of the iconic landmark to provide a scheme combining office and retail space, with our works beginning in April 2019.
Technical challenges
Structures on the site ranged from Victorian brickwork structures with timber floors to 1960s reinforced concrete constructed structures. The location was a tight island site for demolition and logistics. 
This was mitigated using a range of demolition techniques from robotic demolition, top-down, big machine work and hand demolition, all around live shops and the Piccadilly Lights with its strict movement and vibration criteria.

In addition, the job involved the deconstruction of listed facades and cataloguing of the structure for future reinstatement. 

We designed and installed façade retention to pick up and support the world-famous Piccadilly Lights enabling us to demolish the structures at the back of the lights, all without incident. There was a risk of hefty penalties for damage to the lights and loss of advertising had any incidents occurred. 

The works took place above Barclays bank, Boots Pharmacy, Gap, Jamie’s Italian and in close proximity to Piccadilly Theatre. The Boots in Piccadilly Circus is the busiest branch in the UK, and Barclays is the busiest branch for cash dispersals.  Another challenge was the fact that Piccadilly Circus London Underground Station was adjacent to the site and the escalator barrel dove under the site 

3D animations were used to clearly demonstrate the methodology and sequence of works to the client, project team, local stakeholders, and workforce to promote a better understanding of the complex nature of the site.  Liaison with third parties like Crown Estates, Ham Yard Hotel, retained tenants, Met Police, Westminster Council, TFL, London Buses, CCS, local residents and heritage specialists was essential throughout.

Due to the extensive and complex nature of the works, several temporary works items needed to be implemented.  Façade retention to Piccadilly lights and 20 Denman Street was needed along with party wall support, underpinning, top-down construction for design development of the basement and a review of the construction of existing structures.

The full scope of works involved the establishment of site welfare facilities, scaffolding and hoarding, structural site investigations, tower crane erection, asbestos removal, soft strip, basement construction to ground floor, service protection, disconnections and diversions and temporary works, including façade retention, party wall support, underpinning and top-down demolition to the basement level.
We commenced works on-site in 2019.
Safeguarding of properties

Due to the varied nature of construction within the Sherwood Street development, safeguarding of businesses including Jamie’s Italian Restaurant, Jewel Bar (façade retention), GAP, Boots and Barclays bank was a priority.

Live fire alarms, fire sprinklers and escapes routes were maintained for Barclays, Boots and Gap. Complex phasing also needed to take place to open the site up for logistics and access while continuing to give Boots access to their loading bay.

In addition to this, the iconic Piccadilly Lights advertising board was to remain in operation throughout the works.

Mechanical & Electrical works plan

As the development was focused around the Piccadilly Lights and surrounding businesses, a robust Mechanical & Electrical works plan was put in place. Intensive desktop studies and evolutionary works plans were implemented to ensure that any required service diversions, isolations and relocations were carried out with minimum disruption to any stakeholders and ensuring the iconic billboard remained live at all times.


We required the use of both a Liebherr telescopic crawler crane and a Wolff Luffer Crane to carry out the works. The crane was delivered to the site, offloaded and then tracked to its required location. Due to the size of the crane, the lorry entered London under a plant movement order and was subject to a section 61 notice due to early morning movements being unavoidable. The tower crane was erected on-site and on the Denham Street ground floor slab, and back-propped to take the crane’s weight and associated outrigger loads.

Summary of service 
Establishment of site welfare facilities
Scaffolding and hoarding
Structural site investigations
Tower crane erection
Asbestos removal
Soft strip
Temporary work
Top down demolition to basement level
Basement construction back to the ground floor
Service protection, disconnection and diversion