Cold Store Compressor House
London E16

This specialist restoration project outlines the value of using the Triton Stone Library to satisfy a specification that requires materials for repairs “to match the existing”.

The structure had fallen into a state of considerable disrepair, after lead flashings had been stripped from the weathering details. Although the hard pressed red brick facade was relatively intact, requiring some brick replacement and re-pointing, the sandstone dressings were severely weathered and blackened.

With the building planned as a Visitor Centre, the use of matching stone to the main entrance door surround was vital. After mild chemical cleaning to remove surface dirt but retain the natural patina, a comparison with 25 reference stones proved that the sandstone was from the Forest of Dean, rarely found in London. This stone possesses extremely wild colour variations.

Budgetary restraints often require the use of in situ mortar repairs but, at best, the finished appearance will be an average between the colour extremes encountered in the natural material.

In this instance, green and blue varieties of Forest of Dean sandstone were used to replace low level dressings and parapet sections respectively. Only defective moulded sections to the cornice and isolated spalls were restored in situ with specially prepared matching mortars. To prevent further damage to the fabric, all weathering details were covered with Code 5 lead flashings.

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