This building is part of a larger estate of warehouses and small mills formerly owned by a charitable trust. Over many years the buildings had fallen out of use and become decayed. 79 Piccadilly was once a textile warehouse with offices on the front elevation. An unusual and complex construction it had brick cross-walls, incorporating fireplaces, whilst the rest of the structure was formed of Yellow Pine beams supporting the timber floors.
Apart from the front elevation, the other sides were timber framing with lath and plaster/render walls. Long term water penetration had led to extensive dry rot to the extent that some of the beams were, effectively, being supported off the window frames below. For the charity we had embarked on a restoration of the structure, but it was then sold, along with the whole estate, to the current owner, who retains us to continue the restoration of the other buildings.
A soft strip of the building revealed hidden balustrades to the main staircase, some fine tiling and many other hidden features. We repositioned the non-original lift-shaft to a less sensitive location and restored many features before we converted the former textile warehouse into 25 apartments, made up of 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and studio flats to appeal to a variety of city dwellers.
Once the ornate Victorian balustrades, tiles and ceilings were restored, the common areas acquired a grand feel and any subdivision to create the apartments took into consideration original features, so they remained intact and on view.
Externally the building fabric was renovated and the external ‘framed’ walls re-rendered, (but including insulation) and the whole building restored and redecorated so that the Victorian stone features, especially the two stone figures next to the corner turret, would be appreciated again. New, sympathetic shop fronts, with less intrusive signage, were installed to complete the restoration.