Friday 18 May 2012

The Students Guild, Liverpool - plaster repair

This week I'm writing specifications for the repair of Sir Charles Reilly's Students Guild in Liverpool with help from Ornate Interiors, who have pointed out the problems with the friability of some early twentieth century fibrous plasterwork. I'll be specifying "Crystacal R" hard plaster for localised repairs in places subject to greatest wear and tear.  The building contains a fascinating mixture of moulded fibrous plaster, hard lime plaster run in-situ and wet lime plaster applied to laths for formwork to create domes and barrel vaults. The building dates from 1909-13 and was at the turning point between old and new methods of ornamental plaster fabrication.

Cast ferro-concrete was used to create some of the most elegant and visually lightweight staircases I have seen - oval and circular.  So beautiful, you can't fail to be amazed by them.

ICON Conference

Recent conference held by ICON Historic Interiors in Cambridge provided the most wonderful tour of interiors of colleges and university buildings dating from the 18th century.  A special treat to see inside the Senate House - very inspiring. Speakers covered subjects such as the restoration of John Linnell sofas, the use of Chinoiserie in 18th century interiors (which I thought was particularly fascinating), the restoration of Kew Palace kitchens (a subject close to my heart, since I was inolved early on with the restoration of Robert Smythson's Wollaton Hall kitchens) . Also managed to see the Corpus Clock, for which my colleague Tyra Till was the design consultant & project manager - it is a beast of a clock!