CMYA Finalist

Employer: McAleer & Rushe

Project: The Dixon Hotel, London

Moving to McAleer & Rushe specifically for this scheme to create a seven-storey hotel (the contractor’s first four-star facility for a repeat client) by remodelling a grade II-listed building and constructing a much larger extension, Paul Murray needed to deliver a successful job for the highly regarded client.

As the new build was hard up against a residential building whose back wall formed part of the site, Paul’s negotiating skills were crucial in getting speedy agreement to the demolition of the retaining wall. The approach that won over the neighbours is clear from his decision not to use large plant to break out the slab of two large unreinforced raft foundations discovered on the site, but to wire-saw it into manageable sections for removal, so minimising the disruption to residents.

With the schedule constantly under pressure from the interior design evolving far into the construction period to give the client sufficient leeway to get its design right, he constantly sought ways to gain programme time. Rather than undertake a lengthy and expensive complete removal of the legacy building’s clinker concrete floors, he had their acoustic values analysed, and then installed hundreds of universal channels and a matting separation layer before putting a new floor on top.

Aware that the client would welcome early handover by its key Christmas business period, Paul reached practical completion nine weeks early. He did so by running the construction, fit-out and furnishing together, and by helping the client procure and install its own packages as if they were his own. As a result, the client has asked for Paul to lead its next high-profile project, near St Paul’s in London.