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Hotels, Conferences & Events


Stepping back in time at The Grand Hotel


By Izabella Markall, PR assistant at LGM Limited


Hotel, a Grade II listed establishment which is among one the best surviving examples of Victorian architecture in the country. Being the flooring contractors for this refurbishment, it was paramount to intwine the bespoke visions of the designers with the immense proportion of the building. It is with pride that LGM can say that ‘flooring is the foundation of any beautiful room because an exquisite floor allows the rest of the interior to fall seamlessly into place’. The Grand Hotel, situated in Birmingham city centre, is a building which is equally as captivating now as it was in the 1870s, when Isaac Horton launched it as his most striking project. Internationally recognised for its


L


waterways, in the 1800s Birmingham was evolving at a considerable pace and out of the ashes of squalor and decay, rose not only a city of magnificence but also a hotel of splendour. The Grand Hotel was quickly identified as ‘one of the stateliest avenues in the kingdom’ and was coated in terracotta to add status and dignity to the north side of Colmore Row. Following the impeccable


architectural transformation in the 1870s and after being furnished with beautiful palatial interior in the


GM Limited has recently embarked upon the journey of transforming The Grand


20th Century, the hotel embarked on its heyday. During this period, it hosted individuals of the highest stature - King George VI, Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin, to name only a few of the guests dazzled by the exceptional nature of the establishment. The Grosvenor Suites hosted often- raucous events and it quickly became the most desirable place for the elite to gather for champagne dinners, balls and concerts.


‘Creating a lavish establishment has been at the forefront of the project’


However, the suave reputation of


The Grand Hotel meant that it was also a target for militancy and in 1913, after Prime Minister Asquith’s visit, the Women’s Social and Political Union gathered in performing a week of rampant protests. His speech at a formal dinner filled the protestors with such indignation that they launched rocks to smash the hotel windows. With the financial difficulties of


many business owners following a tumultuous period, it was with devastating regret that The Grand Hotel ceased trading and consequently fell into a state of dilapidation and disrepair. Nevertheless, recent restorations


have completely transformed the hotel to its former glory with the intention of it soon regaining its reputation as the best hotel in the ‘Magic City’ of Birmingham. In a world where people thrive


on ‘Instagrammable’ and picturesque locations, and in the words of Richard Markall, managing director of LGM Limited: “Visiting the Grand Hotel is the perfect opportunity to explore a beautiful cocktail of eras, combining decadence and modernisation into one thrilling experience”. As an ever-growing business


from the West Midlands also, LGM Limited saw parallels with the diligent and industrious attitude of Isaac Horton and channelled this into their precise planning and craftsmanship when the bespoke flooring was being created and laid. A vast variety of floor coverings were installed across the hotel which were all sympathetic to the original Victorian era, with a new modern twist. Undertaking a project of this nature commands each individual detail to be planned and calculated accordingly and, although the tradesmen were not wearing waistcoats and bowler hats as they were when the hotel was first built, each floor was installed using traditional methods to ensure longevity. At the heart of the renovation


The completed refurbishment


sits the ornate Grosvenor Suite and the Grand Staircase where the


carpets were overlocked to create a faultless finish to the carpet. Key to delivering a project of this importance was working in a descending order to complete the hotel in tiered and structured stages, to ensure that the custom flooring was protected from other tradespeople. A multitude of floor finishes were incorporated to create the perfect balance of sophistication and vibrance and the techniques utilised to deliver this outstanding result included a complex panel design in the corridors, Axminster carpet in the ballroom, cove and capped vinyl to ancillary areas and to maintain the echoes of the past, a replica timber floor has been fitted in the hotel bar. Waste was minimised consistently throughout the process and this was achieved by utilising the full width of the carpet loom to apply a high-quality finish with very little excess. LGM Limited has been a


passionate contributor in the rebirth of The Grand Hotel and from the very beginning, the vision of creating a lavish establishment has been at the forefront of the project. However, this was not the sole aim as the end result was not only a refurbishment but also has maintained the hotels place in history. LGM saw it as their duty to lay not only flooring but artwork throughout every level of the building.


April 2021 CHAMBERLINK 51


Main: The Grand Hotel’s flooring before the refurbishment Inset: Izabella Markall


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