Stirling Ackroyd, Great Eastern Street

Repair & Rebuilding of Damaged Portico

The main entrance to Stirling Ackroyd on Great Eastern Street makes the best of its busy and prominent location by having a tetrastyle portico set on a splayed corner. In summer 2017 a stolen vehicle collided at high speed with one of the main load baring columns. London Stone Conservation was asked to repair and rebuild the severely damaged portico.

The Grade II listed portico was built in 1877 by J. W. Brooker, originally for the cabinet ironmongers Edward Wells & Co. It is constructed of Peterhead granite, Bath stone and soft red brick. The tetrastyle plan is made up of a parapet, cornice and three arches supported by two main central columns, with two pilasters to each side. In keep with the surrounding area it contains elements of Gothic and Venetian architecture.

The vehicular impact severely disrupted one of the main columns, causing a significant drop and subsequent damage to the architectural details above. The extent of the movement and deflection to the portico, meant that the only option was to dismantle, repair and then rebuild all of the affected components. Working closely with the structural engineers, temporary propping and stabilisation were installed to support the façade whilst the works were carried out. The arches, brick spandrels, cornice and parapet were carefully dismantled, cataloguing each individual component, before being transported to London Stone Conservation’s workshop for cleaning and repair. The off-site repair program and sequencing of the project was key to leave the Stirling Ackroyd staff undisturbed, the site safe for the public and scaffold clear for operatives to efficiently continue with the program. Timber centres and shoring were then installed to the portico and all elements reassembled to their original positions and arrangement. On completion of the works the stonework and render were limewashed to unify the original and repaired materials and provide a protective surface. The logistics of carrying out such a complex project in a busy and confined location is testament to our close working relationship and careful sequencing with our client and the structural engineers on the project.