Great James Street, Derry
CLIENT Name: An Gaelaras Ltd

Design Team: Architect - ASI Architects

This project involved the restoration and refurbishment of the former Presbyterian Manse on Great James Street, Derry. The listed building which dates back to 1837, closed in 1982 and was in a very poor state of repair and required the entire inside of the building to be stripped back to the brickwork walls. The existing roof which was not in keeping with the historic fabric of the building was removed and replaced with a natural slate roof. The aim was to provide a new music and culture hub to add a new dimension to the city following its successful year in 2013 as the UK’s first City of Culture.

The existing city centre, four storey over basement building was scaffolded and netted together with a perimeter hoarding erected around the scaffolding to restrict the public and provide a safe working area for the protected structure. Internally, the building was carefully stripped back to the bare walls with all internal rotten timber, windows, skirtings, doors etc removed to make way for a fungicidal wash and treatment. New floor joists on new steel angles were fitted over existing. Old slates were removed and approximately 70% rotten timbers were replaced, with the remainder being treated prior to a new natural slate roof being fitted. Internally the building was fitted with all new M&E services and was completely decorated. Externally, the render was removed and replaced with hydraulic lime render. The existing moulds were repaired and redone where necessary. Window and door units were replaced. The flat roof to the front porch was replaced in sheet lead. Site works included cleaning of the stone wall to the front of the building and refurbishment of an iron railing.

This building is situated on a busy city centre street and to that end we were very conscious of H&S issues. Ensuring separation from the public was vital whilst also allowing access to adjoining buildings, which involved a lot of forward planning with our Contracts team, in particular our H&S Manager, the client, and the Design Team.

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