A classic reference in London’s hospitality scene, The Dorchester was brought back to former glory in twenty days only.


53 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA


Grade II listed building


Pre-cast panels

Surface area

5,000 sq. m.

Project duration

20 days

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As Thomann-Hanry® celebrate our sixteenth year, it is unsurprising that many of our early landmark projects are finally returning for a second clean. The Grade II listed Dorchester London, in Park Lane, is one such project.

In its day an extravagant statement of vaulting ambition and interwar decadence, Park Lane’s Dorchester Hotel was the vision of Sir Robert McAlpine. ‘The Dorch’, as it is still affectionately known, was the world’s first hotel to be constructed out of steel and pre-cast concrete panels, a glittering exemplar of art deco at its most flamboyant. Built in just 18 months – a remarkable speed in those days – the hotel first opened in 1931 and quickly established itself as the go-to venue for London’s high society, attracting royalty, celebrities and heads of state.

The Dorchester’s unique tradition of theatrical grandeur has been carefully curated and preserved throughout the decades and it remains to this day one of London’s best-loved institutions.

Cleaning The Dorchester hotel facade

The hotel facade were first cleaned by Thomann-Hanry® in 2013. Given its durable characteristics, concrete is a substrate that lends itself to many cleaning techniques – even harsher water- and chemical-based processes may be suitable. This durability also presents a problem, complicating and often militating against the use of the scaffolding required for conventional cleaning methods. However, with a reach up to 14 storeys, it’s a challenge that façade gommage® takes in its stride. With the work cabin mounted on an agile hydraulic boom, access to every millimetre of the 5,000 sq. m. façade is straightforward, eliminating the need for a single pole of scaffolding. A full clean was completed in just 20 days – a remarkably quick turnaround for such a monumental building.

The success of the first clean did not go unnoticed. In Park Lane alone, Thomann-Hanry® have now cleaned and restored The Dorchester itself, The Marriott London, The Marriott Grosvenor House, The Metropolitan, The Four Seasons, and The Intercontinental. Moreover, the Dorchester clean also paved the way for a similar project at another hotel in the exclusive Dorchester Collection, Milan’s Principe di Savoia, built just four years earlier in 1927.

Thanks to the way in which our process restores buildings to their original appearance, with no need for significant cleaning for a long time thereafter, a key financial advantage of façade gommage® is the interval between cleans.

As a decade or more elapses since many of the company’s original cleans, we look forward to reacquainting ourselves with many of London’s architectural landmarks in the months and years to come.


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