Architect ttsp has completed a £45 million refurbishment job on the government's Admiralty Building in London's Whitehall - but only after discovering asbestos in the concrete, which set the scheme back and added to the cost. The practice, noted for its work on fit-outs in the City of London, undertook a widescale reworking of the Grade II-listed building by Leeming and Leeming for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Project architect Pauline Fowler said that midway through the job, the team discovered asbestos, and specialists had to be brought in. 'Every time we wanted to drill a hole, we had to use a vacuum attachment to the drill - it was a nightmare.' The problem also led to the specialists destroying some parquet flooring, to the horror of the architect. But elsewhere the scheme flourished. The architect made a series of modern additions including a set of new glass and steel lifts, skylights, new lighting systems and security provision, and it also created a new cafe area with views out to the London skyline including the BA London Eye. The scheme also involved extensive refurbishment, including cleaning up the heavily soiled facade of the building shown above in 'before'and 'after'modes.