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August 2009

Queens House 'Facelift'


cfes Specialist Projects, a division of cfes Ltd, has successfully completed a major repair project on a historic London building. Queens House, a very high profile building in the heart of Leicester Square, required a complete overhaul of stone and render repairs, roofing repairs & redecoration.

cfes were awarded the initial contract to project manage the repair of the stonework on the exterior and then repaint the building. However it soon became apparent that cfes would be required to demonstrate their multi-disciplinary skills to bring the building back to its former grandeur.

cfes acted as the Main Contractor, Project Manager and CDM Coordinator for the scheme providing a turnkey package giving the client a single point of contact. The cfes team managed all elements of the project which included, the preliminary high pressure exterior wash down, repairing the stone facia, the French slate roof, the lead valleys, stepped lead flashings, and rooftop French Cupola, as well as incorporating a new bird deterrent system.

cfes recognised and appreciated the obstacles they were required to overcome when undertaking the repair work. The primary concern was for the occupants of this multi-tenanted building and ensuring that disruption was kept to a minimum. cfes’ in house project management team achieved this by working extensively out-of-hours with much of the work carried out early in the morning. This ensured business continuity for the tenants, which includes a casino, bar, restaurant and nightclub.

Queens House is built of painted Portland stone and has an elaborately ornamented French Renaissance exterior. This is comprised of polished red granite shafts, numerous columns, splay-sided bay windows, polygonal buttresses, arched recesses and a scroll-pedimented dormer. Out of the high French roof rises a hexagonal Cupola, flanked by ornate chimneystacks.

The present building bears the date 1897 and was originally a very elaborate hotel, known as the Queen’s Hotel, which even housed a theatre at one stage. Great care and attention to detail by cfes was paramount in order to retain all of these authentic features and to preserve the integrity of this grand old building.

The location of the building on one of the busiest and most prestigious squares in the world, combined with the sheer size of the building made this project far from straight forward. Furthermore the access required to the front of the building faced directly onto Leicester Square. Extensive scaffolding and complex bridging was required to provide access to the outside of the building, which ventured onto neighbouring properties. cfes liased with neighbouring tenants to agree these scaffold extensions.

Health and Safety is paramount with a project such as this due to the nature of the works, volume of general public and tourists within close proximity of the construction site. High levels of precaution were required to ensure that the public’s safety was never jeopardised during this project.
Queens House is owned by leading London property company Soho Estates, Managing Director John James comments, “Soho Estates have a trusted working relationship with cfes Specialist Projects who approached Queens House with the same professional high standards that they employ on all of our projects, despite the fact that it was different from the usual remit. cfes continue to prove themselves on all projects whether complex offsite building projects or sensitive repair work. ”
The successful delivery of this project has led to cfes Specialist Projects agreeing a similar new project with Gerald Eve (Managing Surveyors for Queens House) in Croydon.

cfes Ltd is a fast growing national specialist construction and  M&E contractor. Rob Doubtfire, Contracts Directors of cfes Ltd comments, “Queens House is a landmark historic building in Leicester Square and it deserved the care and attention given to it throughout this project. This was a truly bespoke project that demonstrated cfes as a complete multi disciplinary specialist project contractor.”

For more information about cfes Ltd or their Specialist Projects division please call 01420 22622 or visit www.cfes.co.uk