One of the great challenges of the Kings Place development was the stipulation that the building should rise no higher than seven storeys. Therefore, in order to maximize space on the site, a very deep basement was created. In fact, the basement is unusually deep and required a propped diaphragm wall 25 metres high. This created three usable levels of accommodation, occupying a depth of 17 metres. Thanks to the use of such innovative engineering by Arup and Sir Robert McAlphine, Kings Place has achieved the deepest single propped basement that had been built in London (c. 2008).
The large column-free voids to contain the auditoria and gallery called for three large transfer structures to be cast in reinforced concrete. Above the ground-floor slab, the office floors were erected by slip-forming concrete cores to the height of the building.
Another challenge was the erecting of the Jura limestone facades facing the canal because there was insufficient space along the waterfront to put up the scaffolding needed to lay the ashlar on site. Therefore the stone was cut to size at the quarry in Germany and then transported to Trent Concrete’s works in Nottingham. Here it was pre-assembled into large panels with in situ concrete backing. The panels were offloaded from a nearby minor road onto canal barges, which were then floated to the side of the building and the panels lifted into position.