Historic interest, Retail and Leisure, Theatres and Museums | London



Sotheby’s has occupied the site since 1917, previously a public house and picture gallery; the site has expanded over time and subsumed different buildings between New Bond Street and St George St. The premises comprises of six levels above ground and two levels below ground, the variations in levels between the buildings constructed at different times causes the highest number of floors to occur between 1 and 5 St George St, whereas the highest floor in the premises in is the fifth floor of 6 and 7 St George St.  From access level to the topmost floor level being approximately 15m. The sloping site creates two basement levels for 3, 4 and 5 St George St and one basement level in the remainder of the site.

Our Role

In addition to the fire risk assessment BB7 was commissioned by Sotheby’s to provide a fire strategy document for the premises. The projected outcomes were to:

  • Provide details on the numbers of persons who may safely occupy the premises.
  • Offer recommendations on how to support an increase in those numbers.
  • Identify areas of non-compliance and offer potential solutions.
  • Provide guidance on the future management of fire safety in the premises.

Previous reports have been completed which have provided guidance on the number of persons safely able to resort to the gallery spaces, these earlier reports appeared not to take account of the circuitous routes from the galleries leading to the final exits in St George Street. This report will provide comment on the means of escape from the basements and the part of the premises not used as gallery spaces.

Benefits of Service

BB7 has produced a detailed fire strategy document in which the existing layouts were compared to current guidance. An advanced approach to risk mitigation was applied both to maximise occupation and ensure a cohesive approach to the means of escape strategy.  The strategy will act as a baseline for future major and minor works.