Cast Stone Used in Conversion of Grade II Listed Hospital
City & Country Group has earned an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s leading property developers, combining traditional values with innovation and the pursuit of excellence. In May 2009, the company’s landmark development in Brentwood, The Galleries, received two top industry awards. This conversion of the Grade II listed derelict Victorian Warley Hospital won both the Best Conversion and Best Large Development awards at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards 2009. An important aspect of the development was the use of cast stone to replace damaged natural stone and to replicate natural stone for new features on the existing buildings as well as for new buildings and extensions on the site. All of the cast stone items were supplied by Procter Caststone, whose staff also provided advice, support and consultancy services to ensure that the project progressed smoothly, on budget and to the agreed schedules.
Having used Procter Caststone before on a new build project, City & Country was well aware of the benefits of cast stone compared with natural stone – including versatility, price (especially where repetitive work is involved), consistent quality and reliable deliveries – and was pleased with the high standard of service provided. Procter Caststone also helped at the start of the new project by attending preliminary meetings with the developer and architects, hence City & Country was eager to work with the same supplier on The Galleries. However, the planners initially expressed concerns about using cast stone on a Grade II listed building in a Conservation Area, so Procter’s staff attended further meetings with the planners and architects to discuss this issue, with the result being that cast stone was approved for use. In addition, Procter’s staff met with the architects, builders and developer to discuss matters ranging from site surveys and colours, to handling and fixing. Procter’s standard colour samples were used on site to select the correct match for the original Portland stone, plus some items were specified with custom shades. Once work was underway on the cast stone items, Procter Caststone produced CAD drawings that were submitted to City & Country for distribution.
Hundreds of cast stone items were supplied, including window and door surrounds, plinth and string course, buttress stones, steps, bay windows, coping and gable vents. All items were bespoke, manufactured to drawings provided by Brewster Bye Architects of Headingley. Each cast stone item was individually labelled for ease of identification on site, and deliveries were made to an agreed schedule so that only those items needed for a particular project phase were stored on site.
City & Country has succeeded in transforming the derelict Victorian buildings into a stunning collection of high-quality homes. The use of cast stone has enabled the work to be completed without jeopardising either the project timescales or budgets, and the cast stone is expected to last at least as long as the natural stone items in the existing buildings, weathering in the same way.
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