Listed building survey of Art Deco grade II Daimler HQ

Approached by the new owner of this iconic 1931 building in Camden, CADS responded quickly to deliver an accurate measured survey of the Grade II listed building to facilitate the internal redesign.

Mark Johnson
Survey Case Study by Mark Johnson National Accounts Manager 01/10/2020
Listed building survey of Art Deco grade II Daimler HQ

A modernist car park converted to office space

Approached by the new owner of this iconic 1931 Art Deco classic in Camden, CADS responded quickly to deliver an accurate measured survey of the Grade II listed building to facilitate the internal redesign. The former Car Hire Garage, designed by Architects Wallis, Gilbert and Partners, renowned for their design of the Hoover Factory Building, was constructed during the inter-war period as the Headquarters of Daimler Cars.

The building had been converted to 6000 msq. of offices and was, during the survey, the UK headquarters of the international advertising agency McCann Erikson. This meant the survey methodology needed to avoid disrupting the building occupants.

Prior to conversion the building basement had served as a private car park while the upper storeys of the building provided parking for Daimler’s fleet. The upper storeys were accessible via an internalised spiral ramp giving the building its very individual modernist appearance.

3D model of Art Deco grade II Daimler HQ

Laser scanning complex architectural details at multiple levels

The external simplicity of the building’s appearance conceals a deceptively complex reinforced concrete frame structural design. While the multiple changes in levels and carefully arranged architectural details required expertise to measure precisely.

Using 3D HD laser scanners enabled the surveyor to prepare a single point cloud data file which helped illustrate complicated relationships between the different elements of the building.

For example, the original car park ramps converted into a creative office studio presented a complicated challenge to capture. This included the spiralling curvature of the internal and externals walls, the relationship between the original car ramp and the new internal stairs, and the offset angle of the iconic Crittal windows.

Measured survey included Grade 2 listed facades

The measured building survey comprised the external Grade 2 listed facades, roofs and six floors of occupied office space covering 6,200 square metres requiring over 600 laser scans to capture.

The site survey was completed in five days and the subsequent Revit® model delivered six weeks later.

The model will enable the architects to better understand the building during their redesign process, to create a new and exciting co-working office space while maintaining the authenticity and architectural integrity of the building.

Revit model of Art Deco grade II Daimler HQ

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We appointed CADS, because of their expertise. They were able to mobilise swiftly, working with us to develop the required survey specification and methodology.

Owner of former Iconic Daimler HQ

Collaborating to refine the survey specification

Although rapid mobilisation was important it was also critical to spend time collaborating with the Project Architect to develop a detailed schedule of their requirements and a clearly defined scope of services. This involved multiple site visits and many iterations of the quotation to ensure that it met the evolving project requirements in full.

This detailed approach and thorough preparation meant that our surveys were carried out efficiently, meeting the challenging project timetable and schedule of information needs while offering the client best value.

Technical challenges of surveying a Grade II listed building

Meticulous planning of every individual scan location ensured that sufficient overlaps were created so that all the changes in level were precisely captured and recorded in the registration process providing a high degree of dimensional accuracy.

Following the five day site survey, the point cloud was registered and shared with the client to enable them to commence their feasibility exercise of the building design. Due to the listed status of the building the Art Deco architectural features in the form of moulded concrete and coloured inset faience decorative detail, had to be captured and recorded in full within the model.

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