ST. JOHN’S CHURCH – GLASGOW (CASE STUDY)
The project consisted of a conversion, from a derelict Greek Orthodox Church, into a casino within the heart of Glasgow. The building had suffered many years of neglect, with wet rot and dry rot causing extensive damage throughout. The main ceiling itself was completely unstable and given the shear height from the floor below, was in a potentially lethal state of repair. The ceiling area measured some 27 metres x 18 metres.
Our work initially was to replicate the huge perimeter cove, beam casings and niche heads, along with bead and reel embellishments, all with a differing radius both in the x and y-axis. In addition to matching and making good, the many areas of collapsed and missing pieces of enrichment, to the central area. To make things worse, the contractors had inadvertently removed the whole perimeter cove, before necessary squeezes, sections and site measurements could be obtained.
The only evidence we could work from were old photographic records and several inches (Literally!), of a bead and reel. A small cluster of spars were all that remained, hanging-on for dear life, in a devastated, kind of ‘Custors Last Stand’ wasteland area! These poor fragments were found within a mitred intersection. That was it! From these few desolate and wretched scraps of a once proud and opulent interior, we managed to use our skill, integrity and modelling expertise to bring the life blood back into the heart of the building. To give some scale again to the task involved, we cast and bedded each individual bead and reel some 125 x 125 x 150mm.
Even the main ceiling area involved a very complex but logical approach, taking squeezes and repairing the extensively damaged areas. Then the crunch! The whole of the central area, not only the plasterwork and laths behind but the joists above were unstable, although eradicated for spread of rot and pests. We therefore decided to adopt a system of primary grid above the ceiling joists, suspended from the new roof structure and by fixing into the perimeter walls. The whole ceiling, including soffits, beam cases, enrichments (No matter how ornate), were wired and washered. These were countersunk through the face of the plasterwork and tightened to the primary grid above, with all resulting holes and cracks made good. Again to give some scale, the main ribbon and leaf band measured some 600mm in width.
At the end of the day you are now viewing the result of our expertise! Yet another historic monument and landmark that has been saved from neglect and restored to its former glory!
The measure of our skill and craftsmanship can be seen from these pictures. Bearing in mind the complexity and scale of this project, the building was still handed over on time!
Plaster Restorations are committed to the preservation of historic landmarks. We view each building and conservation task as a unique milestone achieved, for our company and for our commitment to the preservation of landmarks worldwide.
Plaster Restorations can work closely with:
- Preservation societies
- Local authorities
- Property holding companies
- Businesses & organizations
- Project Managers
- Building inspectors
- Quantity surveyors
- Insurance companies & loss adjusters
- Home owners
We can provide surveys and budgets upon forthcoming or existing restoration projects to your properties. Plaster Restorations believe that through our skill and expertise, we can offer a great many benefits to our clients to enhance a future working relationship. We would welcome the opportunity of visiting your offices, projects or homes with a view of discussing our systems in more detail.