Above ground, the creation of two ballrooms each approximately 25 metres in width, demanded girders of immense strength. The same problem had arisen in the earlier extension at the Swimming Bath level. This time thirteen girders of thick welded plate steel, each weighing about 32 tonnes, support the third floor and 6 girders of about 85 tonnes each support the fifth.

As before, delivery of these girders required special vehicles and police escorts. An enormous crane had been engaged many months earlier and eight separate controlling authorities had to agree the necessary road closures. This was civil engineering in a crowded urban site and on a massive scale.

The work created meeting halls and rooms of all sizes, hotel facilities and ballrooms, all on the one site, on such a vast scale that the hotel can now offer four sessions for 500 people each, all at the same time and serve 1000 plated meals in fourteen minutes. At the end of the century it was the largest conference centre in Europe.


Floor Plan Showing the Size of the Ballroom.


Basement Plan Showing Piling and Bakerloo Line

Contractors, John Laing, plc.

Page 236
Page 238
Updated January 29, 2011