We do more than a little work in the capital. London is home to a range of architecture as diverse as it is extensive, with many Heritage and listed buildings regularly in need of gentle and thorough restorative cleaning.
Today, we want to share with you three examples of quintessential London architecture from different periods in the capital’s history. Each of them stands today as a unique and telling example of the architectural styles of the time, with those styles themselves offering a genuine glimpse into the past. Let’s take a look.
The regal history of the Grosvenor Estate
It’s fascinating just how much history lies in buildings constructed within a particular period. The Georgian and Regency periods are great examples of this, covering the reign of King George IV from 1714 through to his death in 1830. This was a time where the grandeur and prestige of royalty and the social elite were expressed clearly through architecture, with the two periods being defined by tall, grand structures with distinct stone and brick facades.
These impressive buildings can be visited and seen across the capital, with a famous and particularly wealthy area built in this style being none other than the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair. This and the similar estate of Belgravia form over 300 acres of spectacular London architecture and comprise some of the most sought-after residential and commercial properties in the country.
It’s a little pricey, to say the least. All that premium brick and stone façade is arrayed in long, symmetrical rows several stories high, with ‘Park and Garden’ grade-two Heritage status awarded officially since late 2003.
In terms of cleaning, Heritage sites are some of the most demanding out there. The See Brilliance team has long worked on sites like these, drawing on gentle restorative cleaning methods used by our certified staff to get the job done without risking damage to any structure or façade. With a jewel in the heart of London at stake should we be called on to restore facades in a district such as Grosvenor Estate, the gentle and deep-cleaning properties of Stonehealth approved DOFF Steam Cleaning or TORC Cleaning would be the order of the day.
Gothic architecture at St. Pancras International
The growth of a capital as spectacular as London doesn’t happen overnight. The tale behind the Victorian-gothic centrepiece that is St Pancras International lies in the stringent need for a larger, grander, and more accommodating railway with which to funnel goods, tourists and residents to and from the South of England.
As is surprisingly common, the building’s design itself was put to a competition among notable architects of the period. Held in 1865, the prize of ‘first place’ was granted to George Gilbert Scott, arguably the period’s most highly and widely regarded designer of what we now refer to as Gothic architecture. 1868 saw the beginning of building works, but complications brought about by a significant slump in the economy at the time resulted in it being completed in earnest nearly ten years later in 1876.
Striking, imposing, and spearing into the sky above its peers due to its commanding brick-built clock tower, the structure redefined the skyline of the area. And as our team knows from years of their own experience, a lengthy sloping façade and distinctive clocktower mean one thing in particular: special equipment.
With such prestige and presence at stake, it’s important to maintain the façade of a building like St. Pancras International. This task would be best served by the positioning of Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (affectionately referred to as MEWPs) to allow operatives to reach the multiple stories and gradually sweeping roof of the building. And as is often the case with structures of this size, abseiling would allow certified staff easier access to every area of its exterior.
Neo-futurism and The Crystal Building
Our next example couldn’t be farther from the one before it. A quintessential example of the architectural style known as neo-futurism; The Crystal Building is a contemporary structure that boasts a highly unique design style. Comprised of varying angles of glass façade, it is the first building in London to achieve both ‘platinum’ and ‘outstanding’ awards for sustainability in construction from Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).
It fits the style, so to speak; neo-futurism is all about structures that express a hope for a better future. Built to this principle and acting as a flagship in the wider Sustainable Cities Initiative, The Crystal was a challenging and fulfilling task for See Brilliance operatives who were tasked with cleaning its roof and gutters via abseil.
With the building presently being used as the new Lord Mayor’s office, the importance of a resplendent and almost-as-new restorative cleaning finish was paramount. We’re happy to say that, as always, they did a great job. Our continual drive towards environmentally friendly cleaning products fit the bill perfectly, helping to provide a restorative cleaning service that matched up with the principles behind The Crystal’s design and construction.
Class is over!
And there you have it: a brief dive into the deep, deep subject that is the architectural history of London. These three examples are, so to speak, a tip of the iceberg – and we’re proud to have been a part of keeping some of them restored and at their best.
If you’re interested in talking to the See Brilliance team about our services and how they might assist your own properties, it couldn’t be easier to get in touch. Simply call 01635 230 888 today or email [email protected] to get the ball rolling.
See Brilliance has over 30 years of experience in restorative commercial cleaning of metal, glass and stone. We provide commercial facade and cladding restoration, restorative cleaning services, TORC Cleaning, DOFF Steam Cleaning, graffiti removal, and much more across the UK.