Hans Place, London
Turner & Townsend PLC
Main Contractor:
Chorus Group Ltd
Bishops Development Ltd
Architectual Journal Brick & Stone Winner 2019
Rubbed and Gauged Specials

This stunning private residential development in the heart of Knightsbridge was designed by Squire & Partners. The architects design was inspired not only by the typcial red brick fascades and red rubber gauged detailing in and around the area, but the history of Sir Hans Sloane dating back to the 17th Century.

Following a trip to Jamaica, Hans first encountered cocoa. The locals drank the bean with water, however he found it too bitter, therefore began to mix it with milk and sugar, this was the birth of chocolate. Hans returned to England and introduced it into society. By the 19th Century, the Cadbury brothers were so inspired by the mixture, they began to manufacture chocolate.

As a celebrated man in Chelsea, many roads and squares were named after him, one of them being Hans Place.

The architects first approached Lambs in 2012, with the idea of producing a brick special that could replicate a cocoa bean as closely as possible, and be able to be laid to a 1mm joint. Following numerous trials using traditional hand thrown methods, it quickly became apparent that the only way for the design to work, especially with tight joints, was to manufacture oversized red rubber blocks, then CNC cut the units, and finish by rubbing each unit by hand.

Squire & Partners Design Drawing

Lambs were formally instructed to manufacture 4,500 cocoa bean specials in 2015. Whilst the manufacture of the specials was a challenge in itself, it was essential that each unit sat perfectly with each other to form the cocoa bean design. Whilst the vast majority of specials were the same, additional units were required for the ends top and bottom of each panel.

Checking the specials work together

Given the specials were so britlte, the biggest challenge was to transport the specials to site without breaking them. Special polystyrene boxes were manufactured to protect each special individually. This method ensured that next to no wastage was recorded.

Bespoke polystyrene boxes for transportation

Once the specials arrived safley on site, the bricklayer began with the challenge of laying 4,500 units to a 1mm joint. Using pure lime putty, silver sand to help with the bonding and some patience!

The finishing touches

In 2019, Lambs and Squire & Partners were awarded the Architectual Journal Brick & Stone award. 

 Completed Cocoa Bean Panel



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