An established company has been handed an industry award after a specialist project to restore an historic building.
Artisan Plastercraft, based in Kent, has been recognised for the impressive restoration work on the Grade II* listed Grand Hotel in Birmingham.
The fibrous plastering and lime plastering carried out by Artisan was named winner of the Heritage Plastering category of the Finishes & Interiors Sector (FIS) 2022 Contractors Awards.
The work was also nominated for the Gypsum Trophy Awards, organised by Saint-Gobain and British Gypsum, for contractors who accomplish impossible feats with world-class materials.
At the Grand Hotel, which originally opened in 1879, Artisan restored the fibrous plaster suspended ceilings in the Grosvenor Room, a stunning and ornate ballroom, and the Grosvenor Balcony which overlooks it.
The Grosvenor Balcony ceiling in-particular had suffered significant water damage and Artisan secured it before taking squeezes of the enrichments in order to replicate and reinstate the decorative plaster.
Artisan Plastercraft spent 12 months reinstating new elevations of decorative plaster mouldings for areas such as cornice and picture rails. They provided conservation and repairs to existing mouldings and manufactured and installed new fibrous plaster mouldings in their entirety to match what would have been original.
The company also undertook a programme of lime plaster repairs to a number of interior walls and the ceiling of the Madeleine bar.
The FIS judges described the work at the Grand Hotel as “an excellent and extensive restoration to a hotel that had fallen into a considerable degree of disrepair… meticulous attention to detail and intricate workmanship delivered an excellent final result”.
The work was part of a 20-year, £45 million refit to the fascinating and historic building.
Michael Arney, Director of Artisan Plastercraft, said:
“This building is one of the best surviving examples of Victorian architecture in Birmingham.
“The ornate period features of the Grand Hotel have now been restored, both inside and out, and one of Birmingham’s most loved buildings has opened its doors, once again, as an opulent luxury hotel.
“It has been a lengthy and enjoyable project for us, putting to use our expertise in traditional fibrous and lime plasters free cut lime casting, using traditional tools.
“Up against some wonderful projects and highly credible competitors, we were delighted to be announced as category winners at the FIS awards.”
The 185-room hotel has enjoyed an illustrious past, having played host to royalty, the rich and famous.
King George VI, Winston Churchill, Malcolm X, Charlie Chaplin and James Cagney are just a few of the notable guests to have been entertained here.
The restoration and refurbishment project was made possible by Starwood Capital Group, a private investment firm, working with Hortons’ Estate, whose founder, Isaac Horton, originally built the hotel in the 1870’s.