Barkers – Kensington

Project: Barkers, 63-97 Kensington High Street

Main Contractor: PAYE Stonework & Restoration Ltd.

Project Description:

JDC Scaffolding were approached by PAYE Stonework to develop a scaffolding design solution to give access to an existing Art Deco stone building over the lightweight canopy fronting Kensington High Street and the adjacent Derry Street and Young Street. An access scaffold was designed to all sides of the building which included designing the scaffold to be erected over the canopy level (around 5m high).

Due to the building’s location, mainly on Kensington High Street, this site posed major challenges, including the need to minimise impact on pedestrian traffic, along with the requirement to ensure that shop front windows and access routes were not obstructed.

Our first challenge was that this building is occupied on the ground floor by a large number of different stakeholders who all have shop fronts facing onto the three roads that surround the building. PAYE asked JDC Scaffolding to meet the stakeholders with them, and they all stated that they did not want the building scaffolded as it would, they thought, impede their shopfronts. The shopfronts themselves already have limited ambient light due to the position of the canopy.

We therefore suggested using a modular Haki tripod leg to support the lower section of the scaffold. These tripods are very strong and are joined in the length by modular frames. The design was also developed to allow maximum distance between the upright tripods to limit the visible standing scaffold. By developing this solution we proved to the stakeholders that there would be a great deal less scaffold on show below the canopy.

In response to this concern, an innovative gantry design was developed alongside RDG Engineering working closely with UK System Scaffold Hire. The gantry comprised of, HAKI Scaffolding Tripods based at pavement level – connected to Apollo ‘X’ beams spanning over the existing lightweight canopy and based over strong points of the building’s first floor level. Over a mile of modular X-Beams supported a double width access scaffold above.

This scaffold was then designed to transfer to the building face using modular scaffold beams fixed to the face of the existing stone façade, then the external, double width scaffold built from the beams up the face of the building.

During the build process, the complete tripod towers were made up in the road and were safely lifted into place using our lorry mounted Hiab cranes. A Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Mobile Lifting Operation permit was obtained at all times to enable this process.

Due to the slope on both Young Street and Derry Street some of the tripods were required to be around 10.00m high. The tripods were secured at high level with our scaffolders working at a protected leading edge as per our SSOW, whilst the tripods were joined together, using Haki frames & ledger beams.

The designed scaffold was welcomed by the stakeholders after we produced designs, which outlined the overall Elevation of the scaffold in relation to their shop fronts. The stakeholders agreed the design allowed for minimal obstruction to shopfronts and finally signs were added to the external scaffold for advertising from the road where requested.

The expected disruption to the stakeholders during the erection processes did not occur as the works were carried out during the initial Covid 19 lockdown, however, once shops were opened up our system was praised as the clear walkways under the canopy allowed for necessary Social Distancing.

For the design team this was an interesting and challenging project to work on, and our final design greatly improved our efficiency of erection and safety on site.

The project also included access to the rear elevations working around and bridging over a live service yard together with some bespoke spine beams and access scafolds to bridge over the gardens of a number of residential properties.


“At Barkers of Kensington JDC have a demonstrated a highly proficient Design Team with significant capabilities, to develop designs and produce supporting calculations fast.” Dominic Peachey, PAYE.

“Each and every design produced by JDC places user comfort and safety at the fore, while risks and hazards are eliminated at every opportunity.” Dominic Peachey, PAYE.

80 Strand