Aura Conservation were appointed to carry out the full external restoration works to the beautiful Grade II Victorian building which lies in the Upper King Street Conservation area, near Albert Square in the heart of Manchester. The contract was part of the ‘Eclectics Hostels’ project to transform the 140-year-old building into a boutique style hotel.
The building was originally designed by one of the leading architects of Victorian Manchester, Edward Salomons and was previously occupied by Lloyds Banking Group until July 2013. The completed new venue is in keeping with other Eclectic hotels which have sympathetically brought period sites back into modern use.
Technically for Aura, the project commenced with the cleaning works to the front and rear elevations of the building using the DOFF system. The building’s elevations were then restored by raking out defective and cementitious mortar from the joints which were repointed using a lime based mortar. Deteriorated stone cills were de-scaled, removing all loose and friable stone. Several layers of repair mortar were introduced to create falls to the cills thus preventing water collection.
Indents to the cornice detail were installed to balconies on the rear elevation where stone had previously spalled, subsequently the balcony railings were carefully removed, shot blasted off site and repaired using resin and welded sections where required, prior to being reinstalled and protected with zinc rich primer and powder coated.
In addition, two new openings were created to the façade which entailed forming new granite and stone jamb sections to match existing detail. To complete the façade restoration, all redundant ferrous fixings were removed and holes repaired with replacement stone and mortar repairs. Finally, the existing failing bird deterrent system was removed and replaced with a new system.
All works were carried out within a constrained city centre location, however the upmost care was undertaken to ensure the least disruption was caused to the area.