Project Description

Overbury completes £10.4m fit out for US technology giant Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) in London’s Square Mile. The main focus of the 77,000 sq ft, 26 week fit out was to create HPE’s Customer Experience Centre, located on the lower two floors. A further six floors of open plan offices were also refurbished.


A key challenge for Overbury was the removal of a 64 sq m slab of concrete. The concrete weighed 16.5 tonnes, the equivalent of a London double-decker bus, and was removed to make way for a grand spiral staircase. The staircase leads clients down to the lower level where HP will host state-of-the-art workshop presentation facilities.

HPE wanted a space that supported its innovative approach and that demonstrated the company’s full range of products and services. Not only was the installation of the feature staircase a major aspect of this, but the way in which this was carried out also had to be very carefully considered.

The concrete removed was a part of the floor and the weight of the concrete, in conjunction with the dust and noise of the removal process, were the biggest challenges. A dedicated team had to work out of office hours so as not to disrupt nearby neighbours, including BNP Paribas, a police station and the City of London Corporation. A team of seven worked for three evenings from 7pm to 3am – a total of 168 hours – to cut and remove the concrete.

In preparation, Overbury dampened the area to help minimise dust and assembled a ‘scaffold crash deck’ below the concrete to collect fragments.

A remote controlled diamond saw was then used to cut through the large slab of dampened concrete. This approach causes less vibration and noise, reducing health and safety risks to the team and decreasing disruption. The slab was cut down to manageable pieces that could be removed from the building easily. In the end, 100% of the removed concrete was crushed to recycled aggregate for use in other construction and building projects.

To provide workshop presentation facilities, the team was then tasked with creating an open plan space that was free from obstructions. Overbury faced the structural challenge of removing two load-bearing steel frame, concrete clad columns from the lower ground floor. The team installed two 18-metre steel beams running horizontally across the building to support the weight of the existing façade. Jacks were then put in place to push the beams down slightly and leverage the weight. Once it was confirmed that the weight was resting evenly on the new horizontal beams, the columns were removed, resulting in a sleek, open plan finish.

As well as having a workplace that would truly support HPE’s leadership within the technology industry, sustainability was a key concern for the business. Overbury worked closely with HPE to deliver a programme of works that took this into consideration aiming to achieve a high rating under the American sustainability standard, LEED.

Each criterion was carefully considered with Overbury working hard to find ways of applying this US standard to UK building regulations. In addition 97% of waste was diverted from landfill with a resource efficiency of 3.5 tonnes per 100 sq m.


“The final result of the project is an outstanding space that embodies the HPE brand and upholds its vision of being a leader in the global technology realm. Through a comprehensive understanding of the client’s objectives, expertise and attention to detail, we were able to deliver an impressive fit out befitting the experience HPE will provide in its’ first-ever Customer Experience Centre outside the US.”

John Baker, Managing Director