For over 300 hundred years, Fortnum & Mason has been an intrinsic part of the UK’s high street with their iconic West End store deeply ingrained within London’s history. In 2007, as part of its tercentenary celebrations, the store undertook a £24 million refurbishment project focusing that would see the reconfiguration of all three retail floors. The new designs also saw the installation of a central, spiral staircase.
what was the client looking for?
For over 300 hundred years, Fortnum & Mason has been an intrinsic part of the UK’s high street with their iconic West End store deeply ingrained within London’s history. In 2007, as part of its tercentenary celebrations, the store undertook a £24 million refurbishment project focusing that would see the reconfiguration of all three retail floors. The new designs also saw the installation of a central, spiral staircase and the removal of inhibiting walls and doors to open up retail space and improve customer migration.
However, to remain compliant with stringent fire regulations, it was necessary for Fortnum & Mason to ensure that, by removing the walls and doors in these areas, the historic building could continue to contain and compartmentalise a fire. But meeting fire regulations as well as realising the open plan design, would call for a non-evasive alternative to traditional fire protection methods.
HOW DID WE HELP?
Fortnum & Mason employed Coopers to provide a compliant fire protection system that would ensure that their new, open plan designs met stringent fire regulations. Coopers solution was to install 16 FireMaster® active fire curtain barriers at the entrance of each floor, remaining hidden within the ceiling until required. On activation, all 16 FireMaster® fire curtains deploy, effectively compartmentalising the store’s atrium, containing the spread of fire for up to 2 hours.
By installing Coopers FireMaster® fire curtains into the 307 year old store, Fortnum & Mason were free to safely remove non-loadbearing walls and fire doors and construct the new, open plan atrium with the view to improving customer migration, points of sale opportunities and the store’s overall aesthetics.
Every Coopers fire curtain is developed to remain sympathetic to architectural design and can be installed to fit with differing ceiling configurations. In this instance, smoke seals were also installed with the fire curtains to mitigate smoke migration into other parts of the store.
From concept to full commissioning, Coopers worked with Fortnum & Mason and main contractor Corus to guarantee that the store’s fire containment strategy for the new open plan atrium met with building regulations. Furthermore, every FireMaster® fire curtain was supplied with Coopers unique and patented SLAT™ ceiling interface system. The SLAT™ system was purposely developed for the retail sector to ensure that the fire curtain remains sympathetic to the store’s unique aesthetics.
Coopers FireMaster® fire curtains are increasingly specified by developers, architects and engineers alike to provide retail stores with an approved means of removing non-loadbearing walls and fire doors, allowing retailers to open up valuable floor space, improve customer migration and increase the square meter yield within the built environment.