The Royal Albert Hall in the heart of vibrant west London is distinctive for its unique circular architecture and Victorian styling, and famous for bringing a wealth of high-brow art and culture to the city since it opened in 1871.
A building such as the Royal Albert Hall is not only a building, but part of the heritage of its surrounding community. For this reason, the Royal Albert Hall Grade One Listed and meaning all proposed renovation works must meet strict regulations put in place to ensure the preservation and respectful enhancement of the building.
Sir Robert McAlpine were awarded the overall contract to deliver a programme of upgrade, renovation and refurbishment work. So, when it came to replacing the original water management systems that had been in place since it’s opening, the challenge was on to find a manufacturer and installer that would bring the Hall the best products possible that were also in keeping with these requirements.
Gutterworks, an Alumasc approved installer, installed Alumasc Rainwater management systems during the refurbishment in 2018. Alumasc was chosen for its ability to analyse and precisely recreate the original gutter and pipe mouldings that were used in the originally installed systems, therefore contributing to the preservation of the historic building. Over ten years ago, Alumasc Rainwater management systems were installed in a similar project at Kings Cross St Pancras Station.
With the need to retain as much of the Royal Albert Hall’s original character and features as possible, Apex Heritage Cast Iron gutters and downpipes were moulded to exactly replicate the originals. They were successfully installed promising another 30 years or more of smooth-running water management, that also maintains the period look of the building.
Phil Lapping, Regional Sales Manager and Estimator at Gutterworks, said: “To look at the Royal Albert Hall now, you wouldn’t even notice there had been any changes. And that’s the point of great water management systems- they’re meant to work smoothly and blend seamlessly with the design of the building so that you don’t even notice them. The building—especially this building—should always be the main focus.
“With this in mind, there was no question about which brand should be used to complete this heritage project. Gutterworks have had a very good relationship with Alumasc for a number of years and have first-hand experience of the company’s ability to provide first class service and products, whatever the specification.”
Phil explained a little of the process: “We began by removing the original downpipes, hoppers and gutters. Sandcast bespoke patterns were made, the products cast and finished with the Alumasc certified painted finish, so we were able to install the finished product on site, with no painting required.
“This was a sensitive project due to the historical value of the building and every little accessory attached to it. We are always confident when using Alumasc products on historical or listed buildings as we know that they will meet the standards required by council regulations.”
Using the traditional skills of expert craftspeople, coupled with modern manufacturing technology, Alumasc can copy and create bespoke designs for projects which require the utmost attention and sensitivity.
Ben Green, Divisional Marketing Manager at Alumasc WMS commented: “We will always ensure our products meet industry standards, with the objective of exceeding expectations in terms of durability and performance. In the case of historical projects, the client can rest assured that we are able to create almost any design bespoke, that will meet regulations.”
Alumasc WMS is the UK leader in metal rainwater systems with an unrivalled range of aluminium, cast iron & steel and now the new copper and quartz zinc systems.
Find all the information on Alumasc Apex Heritage Cast Iron Rainwater management systems here: www.alumascwms.co.uk/
Gutterworks are gutter, fascia, soffit and cladding specialists supplying cast iron, aluminium heritage and contemporary, steel, quartz zinc and copper products for any sized project.
Find out more about them here: www.gutterworks.co.uk/