With a Victorian façade extending from its Oxford Street frontage and around the corner into Wardour Street, where a new façade was built in 1983, Soho’s Ampersand Building presented our restoration specialists with a challenge that was both technical and logistical in its nature.
Thomann-Hanry® restore the old and the new at Oxford Street’s Ampersand Building.
In a refurbishment shortlisted for prominent architectural awards and comprising over 66,000 sq. feet of office and residential space, there are two distinct faces to the Ampersand Building. The original 1885 façade beautifully blends brick and Portland stone, whilst the redeveloped 1983 frontage features a striking combination of grey ceramic, glass and concrete, adorned with copper fins.
As such, the cleaning project showcases the versatility of the Thomann-Hanry® skillset, equally at ease with modern materials as it is with the restoration of historical and heritage structures.
One of the busiest locations in one of the world’s busiest cities, managing a building clean in Oxford Street calls for exacting levels of organisation, collaboration and coordination. Enjoying a close working relationship with Westminster City Council, we were able to secure the permits and all other official documentation required in an efficient and timely manner, enabling work to start without any unnecessary delays. Also, before any cleaning work could be undertaken, a detailed building survey was carried out to identify and cost any remedial stonework requirements.
Thomann-Hanry® have been originally called in to work on the building in 2015, following an unsuccessful water-based clean of its contemporary façade by another contractor. Our return in early 2020 saw us working on the original Victorian frontage. With the proven longevity of façade gommage® technique, Ampersand owners the Peterson Group were influenced in no small part by the promise of longer-lasting results – and an extended timeframe before another clean would be required.
Carried out from mobile elevated platforms, the entire project was completed within four weeks. In total, 1,200 sq. m. of frontage were cleaned. Projecting fine powders under compressed air across the surfaces of the Victorian elevation, façade gommage® is also a gentler process than water-based building cleans, such as that originally undertaken by another company in 2015 and is therefore ideally suited to heritage buildings.
Restoration work was also carried out on areas of the new building, including lead repair and cleaning to its ground floor façade. Upon completion of the cleaning phase of the project, we applied our patented Aqua Fend® surface treatment to protect stonework from the weathering effects of water and contamination.
With a long life expectancy and an associated reduction in ongoing maintenance, it is hoped that the exterior of the Ampersand Building will not be requiring the attentions of a cleaning company again for many years to come.