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Externally, the brickwork was

cleaned, repaired and repointed in

matching material, a number of

openings adjusted at ground floor

level to improve permeability. The

brick parapets at the gable ends

were lifted and re-dressed in lead

to allow for new build up in roof

finishes and new insulation to be


Andrew Rixson of Allies and

Morrison said:

“The design of the roof is

complicated by the increased

depth of the new roof build-up

in that the additional thickness

of the roof sets the new slate

tiles above the level of the brickwork details of

the existing gable parapets.

“To resolve this, our design approach sep-

arates the slates from the brickwork by intro-

ducing hidden gutters, valleys and leadwork

detailing around the perimeters of the roof.

These details are adapted into various different

forms due to the variety of conditions found

within the existing roof and the deformation of

the timber roof structure over time but reconcile

the precisely constructed new roof elements with

the unevenness of the Victorian brickwork.”

He added:

“Welsh Slate provided technical advice

throughout the design phase through telephone

consultation and product literature. The slates

could be used in a consistent tile size with even

colour and their fixings hidden by the overlapping

of each tile. We were also able to resolve design

problems using the integrated and unobtrusive

service penetrations, which are pleasing

architecturally and from a conservation

perspective, by avoiding the need for a

proprietary vent pipe protruding above the pitch

of the roof.”

Weatherproofing illustrated wrap

The main contractor, BAM, was challenged with deliv-

ering the project. As much of the restoration work was

done to the façade and roof, they needed a building

wrap solution that would weatherproof the building and

keep the public safe from the risk of falling objects.

They worked closely with developer Argent to design

a permanent ‘mural’ to wrap around the building and

enhance Battle Bridge Square and the entrance to the

King’s Cross Central development.

The giant mural was designed by artist Gregori

Saavedra and was one of the largest illustrations to be

rendered on a building wrap. The vast 790 m² artwork

was inspired by the transformation of King’s Cross and

depicted some of the new landmarks and features of

the neighbourhood.

BAM had to adapt the existing scaffold, de-

signed for fly-away monoflex, to secure the huge

piece of art safely. They also coordinated per-

missions and planning for an IRATA-qualified

team of four to abseil down the scaffold to se-

cure the mural. For a time this transformed the

building site into a piece of public art.

Welsh Slate

The restoration work transformed

the old office building back to

its original design fitted out as a

modern restaurant.

The photos shows the dramatic


Contractors World UK Ireland Vol 6 No 2