Epic engineering: The genius behind Claridge’s ‘impossible basement’

Epic engineering: The genius behind Claridge’s ‘impossible basement’ View Gallery
The basement at Claridge’s: engineering and structural support works took place over three years, adding five storeys in the basement to the famous hotel

Jim Mackey took on a construction challenge that for a decade the industry had insisted could not be met – and succeeded

Jim Mackey was sitting in his rocking chair in Donegal, six weeks into his retirement, when a call came from Paddy McKillen in 2015. The well-known property developer and director of the famous Claridge’s hotel in London had a proposal for the Donegal man.

Mackey is a self-proclaimed workaholic. For his entire working life, he worked for London-based engineering firm McGee. When he eventually retired, Mackey’s wife Theresa teased him that he wouldn’t take well...

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