#buildingconservation

Project Spotlight – St George’s Hall Internal Repairs

Work has been steaming ahead at St George’s Hall, Liverpool. We’ve had teams placed on site Monday through to Saturday, to ensure thorough completion of the project, with as little disruption to the events held there as possible; as the hall is still open to the public.

We’re currently involved in multiple repair projects at St George’s Hall; the concert hall ceiling, the portico and the exterior stonework. Take a look at our first Blog about St George’s Hall, where we introduced the site – here.

St_George's_Hall,_Liverpool_(2007)
St George’s Hall, Liverpool. Image credit – Wikipedia.

The Concert Hall ceiling was looking tired prior to our arrival, substantial remedial works were originally carried out around 12 years ago but unfortunately have not passed the test of time. We were enlisted by Liverpool City Council at the beginning of this year to ensure the revival of the extraordinary ceiling was completed to the highest standard.

A closeup of the damaged areas
A closeup of the damaged areas.

To help us achieve this, we used our in-house specialist craftsmen, who used traditional methods to complete the repair work and bring this phenomenal decoration back to life.

To complete the repairs, scaffolding was very carefully erected inside the concert hall, to enable our team to reach the ceiling. Great care was taken when carrying out this task to ensure no damage was left from the scaffolding.

great care taken to ensure no damage from scaffolding
Great care has been taken to ensure no damage from the Scaffolding.
the scaffolding affording access over the chandelier
The Scaffolding affording access over the chandelier.

Due to the delicate nature of this job, our site manager applied extra care when planning and protecting the Concert Hall due to the delicate decoration already in existence.

The 163-year-old chandelier which hangs from the concert hall ceiling was very delicately lowered and protected whilst the repairs were being carried out to ensure that all the 2,824 individual crystal pieces which collectively make up the antique, were kept safe. Quite concerning if you remember the scene in Only Fools & Horses!

Central view of the ceiling & chandelier
Central view of the ceiling and chandelier.

Once our team could access the higher levels (the Scaffold enabled this), any loose bits of paint and plaster were scraped off, ready for the specialist plaster repair team. Traditional lime plaster repair methods were used to match up to the original.

Flaking plaster to be repaired
Flaking plaster to be repaired.

The paint which was originally used to decorate the Concert Hall back in 1854 is oil based, which is a little harder to source these days because it is not widely available. The colours of paint used were matched exactly to the original, and oil-based paints were sourced thanks to modern day technology, with specialist analysis available to us. The paint was sympathetically applied so no joints could be seen against the old and new.

Method of repair:

  • Protect all areas to avoid damage and falling debris.
  • Carefully remove all loose and damaged plaster (with small tools) all as highlighted on the Architects ceiling plan.
  • Prepare and score up the areas involved to form a key for the new plaster.
  • Wet up the areas involved to stop high suction (If the areas are not wet down it would dry too quickly and fall off).
  • Mix up and apply the lime plaster finishing coat and tender to it as it dries to enable it to match the existing.
  • Check all areas if in good order continue to decorate.
Repairs around the filigree mouldings
Repairs to the filigree mouldings.
Patch repair on compound curves
Patch repairs on the compound curves.
Almost finished!
Almost finished!

Once the ceiling repairs were complete, the Scaffold and protection sheets were taken down in reverse – again ensuring as much care was taken as possible, and the 4.3m tall chandelier could be raised back up the heavens, where it rightfully belongs!

The beautiful detail of the finished work
The beautiful detail of the finished work.
Notice the gold leaf embelishments shine
Notice the gold leaf embellishments shine!
A view of the corbels and finished work
A view of the corbels and finished work.

We think that the repairs to the concert hall ceiling are simply stunning!

View from the floor
View of the concert hall ceiling from the floor.

More updates to follow about the exciting repairs and restoration work being carried out at St George’s Hall, Liverpool.


Whats On?

February 2019
21 Conserving, Repairing and Maintaining Traditional Windows
Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire
22 Lime Pointing Training Day
Bodmin, Cornwall
25 Secret Spaces: Medieval Sacristies, Vestries, Treasure Rooms and their Contents
Society of Antiquaries apartments, Burlington House, London
26 Wolds Welcome: Walking Lincolnshire’s Churches
St Peter & St Paul, Belchford
March 2019
2 Visual Communion: Conversations Between Ancient and Modern
Bishop’s Palace, Chichester
2 Visual Communion Symposium
Chichester
2 Dry Stone Walling
Merryhill Training Centre, Fife
5 Mould and Timber Decay – Lunchtime CPD Session
The SPAB , Spital Square, London
5-6 Repairing Traditional Masonry P1
Charlestown Workshops, Fife
5 Historic Concrete and Cements Conservation
Forth Valley College, Falkirk
6 Conservation of Non-ferrous Metals
The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling
7 SPAB Spring Lecture Series 2019 – Ruskin and the Idea of Craftsmanship
St Botolph Without Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate
8 Making and Using Hot Mixed Lime Mortars
Merryhill Training Centre, Fife
8 Heritage Interpretation and Design
Cressing Temple Barns
9 Dundee Walking Tour, AGM and John Ruskin Lecture
V&A, Dundee
9 Lime Slam – Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle, Dorset
12-13 Basic Masonry Skills
Merryhill Training Centre, Fife
12 Managing Bats in Old Buildings – Lunchtime CPD Session
The SPAB , Spital Square, London
12 Historic Concrete and Cements Conservation
Forth Valley College, Falkirk
14 SPAB Spring Lecture Series 2019 – Ruskin and Conservation
St Botolph Without Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate
15 Mills & Booms: Conservation of Industrial Archaeology, Buildings and Sites in Industrial Use
Museum of London, Docklands
15 A Place for All Mortars
Charlestown Workshops, Fife
16 Lime Pointing
Merryhill Training Centre, Fife
18-21 Structural Repair of Historic Buildings
West Dean College, West Sussex
18-19 The Phoenix Renewed: Sustainability of Post-War Churches and Cathedrals
Coventry Cathedral
19 Vegetation and Old Buildings – Lunchtime CPD Session
The SPAB , Spital Square, London
19 Historic Concrete and Cements Conservation
Forth Valley College, Falkirk
20 Explore the Explorers of Lincolnshire
St Lawrence, Blackey Lane, Revesby

The services we provide for you at

aura conservation

Roofing

Roof Tiling, Steeplejacks and Lightning Protection, Roof Drainage, Lead Protection, Roof Features.

Masonry

Stone, Brick, Cast Stone, Terracotta, Sculpture, Statuary, Bronze Statuary.

Interiors

Painting & Decorating, Plasterwork, Tiling, Timber Flooring.

Services & Treatment

Protection and Remedial Treatment, Paint Finishes, Mortars & Renders, Pointing, Paint Removal, Masonry Cleaning, Structural Repairs, Epoxy Resin Repairs.

Metal, Wood & Glass

Fine Joinery, Wood Carving, Windows and Doors, Secondary Glazing, Metalwork.


Incorporated in 2006, Aura Conservation have existed for over twelve successful years. We have a sound and experienced management team. We can assist you in any of your conservation needs and have a body of long standing and experienced tradesmen we can call on with specialist knowledge of the conservation world.


You can contact us at:

Dunham House, 181 Wellington Road North, Stockport, Cheshire, SK4 2PB.

Tel: 0161 442 9850 / Fax: 0161 432 8478

Email  enquiries@auraltd.co.uk
Web    www.auraltd.co.uk

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