St Thomas’ Church, Southwark, London

St Thomas’ Church, located next to London’s iconic The Shard, is also home to the oldest surviving Victorian operating theatre in England which is now a museum. The derelict bell tower was refurbished in 2007 and used as office space before being sold for a change of use into a quirky seven-storey, one-bedroom apartment.

Due to the listed status of the building BSD had to provide a design that would not allow the services to run through the fabric of the building so were instead exposed. This would be part practicability but also provide an aesthetically-pleasing and visually dramatic look.

Two plant rooms were required, one at the side and the other on the roof.  The different locations were due to the spatial issues associated with the building and the nature of the tower’s tall narrow structure.

Features included:

  • Electric underfloor heating
  • Electrically-heated hot water generator
  • Above ground drainage and ventilation
  • Complete refurbishment of the lighting and power supplies
  • An intercom system from the ground floor to the kitchen and bedroom areas for security and access control
  • Fire and sprinkler alarm system

The building has been considered one of the more important survivals of Queen Anne architecture in London.