A Grade II listed, former military hospital at Richmond Park – the Star & Garter – has recently undergone a meticulous refurbishment and repurposing. The work has turned the well-known building into a collection of stunning, luxurious apartments, with a range of private facilities and superb views of Richmond Park.
Because of its status as a historical landmark and Grade II listed building, Lees Associates and developers London Square wanted to preserve the many original and ornate features of the building throughout the refurbishment. Each apartment was to be restored and specified to the highest possible standards, to ensure an “incomparable lifestyle” for its residents.
This attention to detail and drive for preservation came with its challenges, particularly in the former grand room exercise hall of the hospital, which was to be turned into a large leisure suite featuring a swimming pool, jacuzzi and gym.
Leisure facilities and swimming pool areas are notoriously tough environments for wall and ceiling finishes, because of the humidity, cleaning & hygiene requirements, along with the high chlorine content of the environment. The new leisure suite at the Star & Garter brought with it the added challenge of preserving an ornate, original plaster and gold leaf ceiling.
It was obvious that a standard wall and ceiling coating system wasn’t going to be suitable. A tough and reliable coating system was needed, and something clear and hard wearing was required for the gold leaf. Lees Associates and Roseville decorators turned to CS Wallglaze® for the solution.
For the walls and ceiling throughout the suite, CS supplied Wallflex® with Heavy Duty Fibreglass reinforcement (light duty for the ceiling architraves). Door frames, window frames and skirting boards were coated in the standard Wallflex system, as well as a clear, impermeable Armourlac™ coating for the gold leafed areas of the ornate ceiling.
Lees Associates chose CS Wallflex® for its versatility and durability in both dry and wet environments, along with its anti-microbial properties and high chemical resistance which make it perfect for tough environments like leisure facilities. Wallflex was colour matched to the architect’s specified colour, a very light grey. The system was supplied in a standard Eggshell finish, creating an easy to clean and maintain surface.
Fibreglass reinforcement was chosen for the Wallflex coating, primarily for its crack bridging qualities, as the coating needed to be able to cope with extensive micro-cracking of the old plaster. The fibreglass reinforcement also conducts and spreads heat, and stops humidity ingress, protecting the wall and ceiling coatings from bubbling in the warm environment. In addition it boosts impact and abrasion resistance, extending the lifecycle of the coating.
CS Armourlac, a single pack solvent free polyurethane coating system, was chosen for being clear, highly chemical resistant and compatible with the gold leaf coating underneath. The impermeable Armourlac coating protects the gold leaf from discolouration and flaking caused by the high humidity and high chlorine environment.
Now, the leisure facility takes full advantage of the historical characteristics of the room, without the worry of discoloration and deterioration. With minimal maintenance requirements, the Star & Garter leisure facility will continue to offer an “incomparable lifestyle” for up to 10 years before needing a simple re-coating.