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34 PROJECT REPORT: HERITAGE & HISTORIC BUILDINGS


ABOVE


The Eastern end of the Palace comprises the BBC studios and the Victorian theatre Image courtesy of Willmott Dixon


FACING PAGE


The transmission mast which beamed out early high- definition TV signals sits at the corner of the East wing © Steve Menary


The ultimate objective is to restore public access to the building’s most historically significant parts while remaining faithful to the vision of its Victorian founders


spaces and the northeast tower are also being refurbished to provide storage and room for the performers. However, with a building that dates back nearly 150 years, significant structural repairs are required. “The existing roof


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trusses on the theatre showed some signs of serious decay after specialist investigations,” explains Wright. “We put the slab in early so we could get scaffold up and we are propping up two roof trusses with the most serious decay. The ceiling is being repaired as best as possible.”


The ceiling is a lathe and plaster style and some of the plaster above the trusses has decayed to a point that serious remedial work is needed. This means members of Willmott Dixon’s construction team have to work in tight spaces above the ceiling, but below the roof trusses. “It’s a long, slow process,” confirms Wright with the look of someone who has been on site for a year and not achieved all they had hoped for. Willmott Dixon initially arrived on site to


ADF SEPTEMBER 2017


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