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Case Study

Old War Museum

London
The Old War Office is a stately, Grade II listed Edwardian building situated in the heart of Whitehall, London. This impressive architecture is only a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, the House of Commons, Westminster Abbey and Downing Street, and is known for being an iconic building of significant political and historical national heritage.
The Old War Office is a stately, Grade II listed Edwardian building situated in the heart of Whitehall, London. This impressive architecture is only a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, the House of Commons, Westminster Abbey and Downing Street, and is known for being an iconic building of significant political and historical national heritage.

The building was recently sold by Her Majesty’s Government in 2015 for more than £350m to the joint Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group and the Spanish construction group Obrascón Huarte Laín Desarrollos. The purchase will see this already dignified and splendid building turned into a lavish and elegant state-of-the-art hotel with The Raffles Group.

Originally completed in 1906, it once served as a centre of official intelligence. The building was a former department of the British government and housed the administration of the British Army between 1857 and 1964. Once used as Winston Churchill’s former war office, these headquarters have also housed additional significant political and military leaders, including David Lloyd George, Herbert Asquith, Lord Kitchener and TE Lawrence.

The building was recently sold by Her Majesty’s Government in 2015 for more than £350m to the joint Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group and the Spanish construction group Obrascón Huarte Laín Desarrollos. The purchase will see this already dignified and splendid building turned into a lavish and elegant state-of-the-art hotel with The Raffles Group.

Set to open in 2022, the 54,000 sq metres will house 125 hotel rooms, 85 private residences, nine restaurants and bars, a spa, and boutique retail experiences, along with a state-of-the-art gymnasium and 25-metre pool.

However, to keep hold of its historical architecture and design, the building will remain largely retained. All heritage sash windows and heritage casement windows will be subject to a full heritage sash window restoration, and a new double-height basement and breathtaking rooftop extension will be added. Visitors arriving from Horse Guards Avenue will also be greeted by a splendidly redesigned internal quadrangle courtyard providing an exclusive arrival experience.

The redevelopment project will be carried out by Ardmore Group, with TRC contracted as partners to restore over 1,000 timber windows throughout the building.

During the window replacement phase, the following aspects of repair will be undertaken:

01

An initial full survey of windows will be carried out.

02

All screws, staff beads, sashes, parting beads, ironmongery, chains and sash weights will be carefully removed and labelled.

03

Sashes will be carried to the workshop, where they will be assessed for window repairs. They will be planed if required, and two grooves will be routed to bottom sash and one to the top sash to allow for draughtproofing and window decoration. Frames and sashes will have any rotten or badly damaged wood routed out, and repairs will be carried out using the Repair Care System, with wood plugs and/or splicing used if necessary. Any loose or flaking paint will be removed from frames before being accessed for repairs.

04

Once removed, ironmongery will be being cleaned, refurbished and polished.

05

Sash window glass replacement will be carried out by carefully removing broken panes, as well as the glazing beads. Rebates will be cleaned before new glass is beaded with brown glazing silicone and the beads.

06

Chains will be checked for damage. If in good condition, they will be lubricated with chain grease.

07

Sash weights will be re-weighted to ensure the windows are balanced.

Internal and external heritage sash window decoration

Windows and frames will be rubbed down and prepped using wire wool, tack cloths and graded sandpaper, and will be filled where necessary using a tinted two-pack filler.

Wood dye will be used on bare wood or badly discoloured areas to match the surrounding tone.

Two coats of walnut satin quick-dry varnish will be applied to the interior, along with two coats of rosewood Sadolin wood stain to the exterior.

Heritage sash window type 2: refurbishment & decoration

Existing glass will be replaced with Histoglass using the recommended glazing compound, and new sash chains will replace existing ones.

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