Friday, 25 January 2008
Marlborough house brighton update:
This is the project i was involved with a couple of years ago that went tits up.
This is the second most important building in Brighton next to the royal Pavilion.It is a house that was remodelled and extended by Robert Adam the famous scottish architect.There are documents and original architectural drawings in The john Soane Museum in London.
It has sat empty for two years and has been subject to feasibility studies by English Heritage to see what change of use is best for the building.I am not exactly sure what the change of use is going to be but its either a Boutique hotel or a private drinking club.There was a meeting there yesterday which was to finalise things but i wasnt there.as far as i know i think change of use has been approved and work can start soon which is good news for me.i have waited 2 years for this to happen.
This is the best news i have had for ages and this place is going to have 2.5 million spent on it which means i can get my job back as there are two others i know who are overseeing the project.there is a queue of various companies who wanted to buy it as it is for a company headquarters like Banks etc.
The front facade and roof that you see is all new work.The windows that you see are the original frames with replacement sashes [windows].The Venetian frmes on the ground floor were removed dismantled ,stripped of paint build up ,treated and reassembled.I spent weeks helping with this.The plasterwork that you see is all new.Before we did it another plasterwork company did it and made a mess of it in places.They were called Standens and *were* a good company.The guy who ran it retired and passed the company on to his son who unfortunately was not all that bright.There were some good people working for them but a lot of them were rubbish.It was at the owners insistence that they did the plasterwork.He wouldnt listen to us so you just wait for it to go wrong and do it all again.
Some of the work they did was fine .That being the Pediments [triangular mouldings at parapet level.Thats because the individual who did this knew what he was doing.This is however after this company had completely destroyed all of the original mouldings.This is before we got there.
The original mouldings had about half a centimeter of paint build up on them which was perfectly sound.2.5 centuries worth of paint layers in total.The mouldings themselves were made of a heavy Lead based Mastic that was a Robert Adam recipe.For various reasons after being sent of for analysis could not be replicated.
Standens Plastering upon instruction by the owner stripped it of paint using Paint Stripper.Eventually they got through the paint layers and then got to the original surface of the lead based mastic which was oil based.for some reason they continued to strip and strip away the surface of the exposed mouldings totally destroying them.about a quarter of the original mouldings were left untouched but not for long.
If they were to be stripped it should have been done with a heat gun very carefully so none of the above should have happened.
This remaining quarter was supposed to be saved .The same plasterers as below were specifically asked not to to touch this at all.So what happens ?
Yes it all ended up in bits in the Skip.
Unbelivable. Fucking unbelievable.
Again this all happened before we were called in to sort it all out and oversee the plastering work being done by Standens.There were some fucking idiots working on site for this company.Sort of yob /geezer types.I dont mind Geezers one tiny bit as i like them.But the Yob type and me just dont mix.For example it doesnt create a good impression if a site is in the centre of town and the plasterers are sexually harassing girls that walk past in the street.Shouting Things like " Here ,do you want to suck my Cock etc etc ".
Well i will tell you something if you ever do that again on this site ever and this applies to all of you then you are leaving the site right fucking now and never coming back ever and dont fucking argue or give me any fucking talkback or attitude or i will personally physically fucking remove you from this site .
Get it ?
Do you realise that if that woman is offended she can complain and have this site closed down ?
" No ??!!!? "
Of course you fucking didnt .
Fucking idiots trying my patience.
One of them waqs about my size but not up to much was a bit of a problem from time to time.He felt he had something to prove and felt threatened or whatever and try it on.In the mornings sometimes i would walk past his car while he was sitting in with 2 others and saying look at that cunt etc Is he queer is he this or that.I am not camp and these types always assume you must be queer if you different or not outwardly aggressive etc.
I had to remind this unfortunate individual that if he had anything to say then wind the fucking window down and say to to my face.Dont sit there hiding in the car.
I watched him one day spending a whole day T Cutting his cars bodywork instead of working in an effort to compete with the building owners black 2 door 90 grand Mercedes.
They just fucked up everything they touched and were a total disaster.
They were still employed by the owner at this point.
Oh |Jesus christ !!
You dont use a Kango next to the brickwork at the Heads of the windows.They are stuctural but its too late now you have already fucked them all now.Damage done.They were removing their previous layer of sand and cement render they had covered the facade up to the point of a scratchcoat .It all had to come off as you do not cover a lime based building in sand and cement.It will eventually fail as it doesnt allow the building to breathe so therefore traps moisture and therefore degrading the underlying material.Its too long winded to explain.
They were told to cut the render into small sections with a disc cutter then hammer + chisel it off in sheets not pound the building to death with heavy powertools that sends shockwaves through the wall therefore upsetting all the mortar in the them.
Why dont they fucking listen ? Do they have problems reading plain English ?
Eventually they just had to leave the site and we took over re doing the plasterwork ourselves.
The slates on the roof are green Devonian slate and the quarry that they came from had to be drained of water as it was unused and re quarried again just to get the slate for the roof slates to this building.
The Basement level that is black is a flint cobbled wall that has been painted black.I had to spend 3 days on the last beach next to the marina handpicking 3000 flint pebbles that all had to be a uniform shape and size to match the existing.you could only find them on this beach because of tidal drift and the way it grades the shingle.This was caused by the Marina sea wall.I bagged them up and picked them up by van.This is illegal but who cares.Anyway reason we were taking them overrules any illegality should anyone ask.We had to wait for a police car that was there by coincidence to leave.They were just skiving off work and sitting in the car park.
It feels like my run of bad luck is coming to an end now at last .Its been 4 months long.I keep getting pointers now that are lucky and lots of helpful coincidences.
I have been working across the road on another building doing site work on a big building site.Its been years since i have had to work in a chaotic with about 50 others that i dont know and have not met before including another plasterer who started on the same day.
I havent come across anyone there who i didnt like.Everyone seems very friendly and i cant speak highly enough of them all.There are some Brummies painting with accents so wide i cant always understand what they are saying, Albanians,Eastern europeans.Its amazing how quickly you can start chatting with everyone.Its been alright and not the nightmare i was sort of expecting it to be.
Posted by Peter Wolf at 14:31