Restoration has been restoring buildings for many decades, and during the course of that time has worked on some of the most iconic and historic buildings, and it is always a privilege to do so.
Szerelmey Restoration has been restoring buildings for many decades, and during the course of that time has worked on some of the most iconic and historic buildings, and it is always a privilege to do so. There are always “stand out” projects that have a special place for the company, the interior restoration of Battersea Power Station was one, (featured in a previous edition), and another was the restoration of seven facades along one of London’s most famous shopping streets. The works, undertaken for Great Portland Estates plc on behalf of The GHS Limited Partnership (a 50/50 joint venture with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority) included the restoration of seven historic retained facades along New Bond Street and Brook Street as well as an iconic Grade II* listed property on Hanover Square; the first home of the Royal Society of Medicine. Given the scale of the project and the number of different styles of facades, the scope of works was extremely varied. The works involved carefully cleaning each facade using a combination of nebulous, steam and gentle abrasion cleaning techniques as well as isolated areas of poultice application to remove areas of engrained staining. Following completion of the cleaning an extensive survey was carried out on each façade and a repair schedule drawn up.
Areas of the stonework, particularly the more ornamental areas along New Bond Street and Brook Street were badly eroded or damaged and needed replacing. Some damage was as a result of corroding support steels that were buried within the stonework. In these instances, the stones were carefully removed, individually itemized and stored. The steel work was then cleaned and treated with a protective coating. Following the approval of carefully selected stone ranges for each property, the defective areas of stone were carefully surveyed, and detailed drawings produced to enable the production of new carved stone units to match the originals. The stonework, including the original and replacement units were then reinstated incorporating the introduction of bespoke, in house designed stainless steel bracketry and restraints.
Further extensive masonry works were carried out at the 70 and 71 New Bond Street facades involving the reconfiguration of the fabric including the support frame. This work unified the floor plates of the two buildings allowing the architecture to read as a collection rather than individual units. This involved extensive temporary works to allow for complex steel work adaptations. New Portland stone and Carrara marble units were introduced to facilitate the realignment between the ground and 1st floors.
In addition to the new stone replacement, the project involved an extensive restoration package. This included repairs to many varying materials including brickwork, limestones, sandstones, terracotta and stucco. Areas of highly decorative terracotta were skillfully repaired using traditional lime mortars which were finished with the application of a breathable Keim mineral wash that was carefully applied to match the surrounding stonework. The brickwork facades were restored, incorporating insitu brick repairs and new bespoke imperial bricks, laid and repointed using lime mortars to match the original mortars. The styles of brickwork varied extensively between each property ranging from traditional imperial brickwork with flush or weather struck joints, to gauged brickwork with 1mm lime putty jointing. The entire facade of 20 Hanover Square was raked out and reinstated in tuck pointing to match the original. All of the painted stucco masonry was stripped of many years of paint coverings, the masonry extensively repaired and redecorated using a matching breathable paint, of bringing the entire facade back to its former glory.
Other elements of work included replacing the existing copper to the dome of the turret on 69 New Bond Street and replacing many of the lead coverings to projecting stone features and roof coverings. Replacement of and isolated repairs to many of the cast iron and lead downpipes using bespoke replacements were carried out where necessary.
Szerelmey were also appointed to undertake extensive paving works to the internal floorings within 20 Hanover Square. The original rivened York stone flooring was re-laid in keeping with the original layout. This involved sourcing isolated replacement stones to match the original where needed. The ground floor reception area involved the introduction of underfloor heating and relaying a blend of new and original limestone paving with diamond slate inserts. The end results were stunning, fitting of an iconic, historic listed property.