Exhibition London (Dimco)
White City, London
Blending heritage, design and culture under one roof redevelopment of the 120 year old Grade II listed steel frame and brick clad “Dimco East’’ building converted from its former bus garage usage into a new music venue and events space arranged over about 33,000 sq. ft. catering for up to 3,000 guests.
The Dimco buildings, constructed in 1899, were designed by Harry Bell Measures as the engine and boiler houses of the Wood Lane generating station which supplied energy for the Central London Railways, the forerunner of the Central Line. Today they represent the earliest example of an electricity generating station built for the London Underground. Having fallen into disrepair they were refurbished as part of the initial Westfield London Phase 1 development, with the east building being temporarily used as the White City bus depot, and the west building being used as an LUL substation (which it remains).
The design brief was to protect the fabric and preserve the heritage of the existing listed building whilst providing modern finishes and facilities, including a stage and two bars, in an acoustically insulated environment. This was achieved by developing a self-supporting mezzanine slab supported by a steel frame ‘floating’ on the original fill material that formed the floor of the former bus garage. The design was considerate of the constraints set by the existing building, thus avoiding any breaking out and strengthening works to the structure, including deep foundations.
The existing exposed steel roof trusses have been retained and restored, with a new aluminium standing seam roof supported on cold formed purlins spanning between the trusses. The existing overhead gantry travelling the length of the building and sited under the trusses is retained, including the hook, in the final scheme. This provides a substrate to the secondary truss supports for the stage lighting, sound and visual media equipment.
The project has been nominated for the 2020 Constructing Excellence award for Conservation and Regeneration.