French contractor completes £244m replacement of Marsham Street 'Three Ugly Sisters'

Bouygues handed over the new Home Office PFI headquarters to the client today, on time and on budget.

Staff will move into the new Terry Farrell & Partners-designed offices next week. Home secretary Charles Clarke claimed moving to a new more efficient HQ would save taxpayers £95m over the life of the PFI deal.

Clarke praised the building for its sustainability. He said: "2 Marsham Street will be one of the most environemntally efficient public buildings of its type in the UK, with energy consumtpion designed to be at least ten percent better than government recommended levels."

Bouygues said it had had to work to a very tight construction programme, which overlapped with the demolition of the three 20-storey concrete tower blocks formerly occupied by the Department for the Environment, nicknamed the 'Three Ugly Sisters'.

The firm said it used hybrid construction - a mix of pre-cast and in-situ concrete structural elements - to hit to the 24-month construction programme for the 75,000m2 building. Project manager Jean-Claude Aoistin said: "The frame would have taken twice as long to build if we had constructed it entirely from in-situ concrete."

Bouygues UK managing director Pascal Minault praised the architectural quality of the building. He said: "It definitely answers those critics who suggest that high quality architecture and PFI are incompatible."