BCM has for many years been involved in the refurbishment of traditional architectural mouldings on buildings mostly in London and Manchester.
GRC’s ability to be moulded to complex shapes and contours and replicate fine detail means that it is the ideal choice for this type of work. Also being light in weight enables larger elements to be fitted without imposing significant additional loads on the existing structure.
Often cornices and similar mouldings are replaced, whilst new columns or other classical features can be added to existing or new buildings.
These examples show the diversity of GRC.
Wilbraham Hotel, London
In the sensitive Sloane Square area this existing hotel was demolished and rebuilt as a residential block. Five floors were demolished and replaced by seven inside, although the front elevation still had to retain the existing format. To replicate the existing chimneys GRC panels were installed on a steel frame fixed to the main roof members. All components were cast in handspray GRC including octagonal chimney pots. The alternative solid cast stone would have required back propping through two floors to carry the additional loads and would have imposed significant lifting and programme related problems.
Oxford Road, Manchester
Time had taken its toll on the terracotta corbel blocks above the windows at the base of Manchester’s School of Dance. Rust had caused expansion and cracking in the soffit pieces and they were becoming a danger to the public below. Removin them and replacing them with GRC proved a challenging project, most especially in attempting to replicate not only the colour but also the finish of glazed terracotta faience. Five years later, this photograph shows that the match has been very successful. The light weight of GRC was essential in reducing the weight taken on the existing steel support angle.
St. Georges Mews
Building an arch in the busy centre of London is never likely to be easy. Unless you use GRC. This arch near what was the Childrens Hospital in St. Georges Mews was erected on a steel frame off site and craned into position in 1/2 a day. The side pillars were built in engineering brick and rendered to match the GRC unit which was located and bolted into the top of the piers. Another example of the benefit of reduced weight and off site prefabrication.