ENCAUSTIC TILES IN THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER

DBR London

When Sir Charles Barry won the competition to redesign the Palace of Westminster, he turned to the young and gifted Augustus Pugin to design the interiors.

The marvelous encaustic tiles found throughout the palace was an integral part of Pugin’s Gothic Revival, and can be considered as much a work of art as the glazing, murals, and statuary.

But after over one hundred years of use, and a million feet, the tiles began to fade and fracture.

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After successful trials in 2010, DBR London was commissioned to carry out the extensive repair work to the encaustic floor tiles throughout the Palace, a project expected to be completed by 2019.

DBR stonemasons salvage as many of the historic tiles as possible for use in areas with less footfall, while the newly commissioned tiles are laid along more frequented routes.

It is a project that requires a great deal of skill from our stone masons to maintain the fine tolerances in the floor layout. Although this is principally a conservation project, the need for a durable and safe floor is paramount. The scope of work includes:

~ Recording the encaustic tiles according to an agreed methodology~

~ Lifting and salvaging tiles and slate flags where possible~

~ Relaying the salvaged and new tiles and slate to replicate the original design~

~ Localised repairs to the sub floors to deal with cracking and other structural  damage~

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