Mondial House - Dowgate Fire Station
Dowgate Fire Station
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Photo (above): Dowgate Fire Station. Note the centre opening is higher than those to either side © LSA 2006.

Mondial House

A telephone operator from Mondial House recalls:

"There was a fire station at street level and one of the ports for the appliances was lower than the others. The number of times the RSJ that limited the headroom got clobbered when someone reversed a “Simon Snorkel” or similar and sent vibrations through the whole building is countless!"

Dowgate Fire Station in 2006
The sheer bulk of Mondial House steps outwards and above the appliance bay doors of the fire station.

Photo: Dowgate Fire Station © LSA 2006.
Mondial House and the Fire Station Tower
The training yard and tower of the fire station can be seen here, somewhat dwarfed by the massive ziggurat design of the main building.

Photo: Dowgate Fire Station Tower © utgarthr 2006.

The London Fire Brigade was approached in early 2002 by the freeholder of Mondial House (BT) who was considering a total redevelopment of the property in which Dowgate fire station was situated. Subsequently BT sold their freehold interest to UBS who proposed a new scheme involving keeping the existing fire station, as the lease was valid until 2074.

Watermark Place

Planning report PDU/1017/01 of 15th December 2005:

"The proposal is for two buildings facing the river using a third of the existing structure of Mondial House. The Fire Station would be retained but re-clad during the works and connected to the office development on four floors."

Dowgate fire station was incorporated into the Watermark Place complex and underwent extensive remodelling, although some of the ground floor features were retained.

Faithdean plc was commissioned to refurbish the fire station to incorporate office facilities for Borough Liaison Officers. The work was split into two phases to enable the station to remain operational throughout the project.

Phase one entailed the construction and refurbishment of new office accommodation, the Station Commander’s office, and male/female dormitories, all of which were located in a part of the site which was previously occupied by BT.

Phase two consisted of complete refurbishment of the existing fire station which included the installation of a new lift to comply with DDA regulations, and alterations to the operation's room. The appliance bay was fitted with new fire shutter doors (all of the same height).

Dowgate Fire Station - July2010
In July 2010 the ground floor, front of the fire station is virtually unchanged, but to the left and above, the new glass and metal 'curtain walling' is evident.

Photo: Dowgate Fire Station with new appliance bay doors © LSA July 2010.
Dowgate Fire Station - July 2010
The ground floor side remains a mass of reinforced concrete, while the 'new louvre panels' rise above from the first floor upwards. A new staircase, with canopy adornes the rear courtyard, while the new building of glass and metal wraps around the back.

Photo: At ground level, the side elevation is little changed © LSA July 2010.
Notes & References

Dowgate Fire Station continues to be a working station and is part of the London Fire Brigade.

"Dowgate is the only station located within the City boundary and covers an area of approximately two square kilometres within the postal regions of EC2, EC3 and EC4. The majority of the station's responsibility is for commercial premises, but the daily influx of workers and visitors makes this one of only two stations categorised as 'A risk'."

Faithdean (Building construction management)

"As part of the modernization of buildings along the riverfront at Lower Thames Street, Dowgate Fire Station which was part of Mondial House was commissioned to be refurbished from a drab 60's looking interior to a modern fire station incorporating office facilities for Borough Liaison Officers."

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