This project, which we recently completed, has been in the press again! this time in The Architects’ Journal in a great piece published yesterday. Over the years Szerelmey have delivered a number of award-winning projects and we feel certain that Wilkins Terrace will be joining this list. The Portland stonework on this scheme is stunning and complements the surrounding yellow brickwork perfectly. The clever design by Levitt Bernstein has managed to completely transform a tired and little used area into a fantastic new public space that pulls together the Grade I listed Wilkins Building and the surrounding buildings into a cohesive and exciting area.
The stonework package presented a couple of challenges compounded by a number of factors, not least the Grade I listed Wilkins Building and the very restricted working area in construction terms. Szerelmey cleaned the three five storey high existing facades facing into the quadrangle before conducting a thorough survey and undertaking necessary repairs to the Portland stonework to the Wilkins Building. Next a new fourth façade was constructed using load bearing Portland stone blocks to create columns, set on a concrete foundation supplied by others, and designed to classical Georgian proportions in line with the surrounding buildings.
The quadrangle area, or terrace, was paved with two types of Whitbed Portland stone to create a clearly demarked pattern. The whole of the terrace area was laid onto a concrete slab which in turn was laid on a new steel substructure, raising the floor level up 5m above the existing service yard. Szerelmey laid all the paving and in addition installed Portland stone steps leading from the newly raised terrace down to the refectory at ground level. Further stonework undertaken by the company included seating, planters and cladding to the external walls of the lift shafts. Szerelmey were also responsible for installing the complicated drainage system. The entire project was logistically difficult due to the restricted site which negated the use of any tower cranes, and the requirement for the university to stay in full student access. In view of this all lifting was achieved through the use of block and tackle lifting equipment.