V&A Madejski Courtyard

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and designs. Named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, founded in 1852.

DBR involvement included designing access-scaffolding for the replacement of Lead gutters over the library roof and brick and terracotta façade cleaning –using conservation cleaning techniques, including specially formulated poultices and thixotropic gels, sepiolite clay and steam. DBR was commissioned as Principal Contractor, with the conservation cleaning & repair of the Henry Cole wing – built between 1868-73 in Renaissance style with ornamental Minton Majolica.

DBR carried out façade cleaning and conservation repair in readiness for the Exhibition Road landscaping scheme. DBR collaborated with a specialist manufacture of historic fabric cleaning gels to produce a poultice that provided even contact and cleaning to the terracotta without damage or unevenness. This phase also required designed access scaffolding. For the Madejski courtyard, Phase One was the conservation and cleaning of the recessed bays of the North façade and repair of the bronze doors. Phase Two focused on the central elevation and main features of the triangular pediment.

Courtyard works included: Terracotta and brickwork repairs, detailing for terracotta replacements and pointing in various areas. Pinning of Terracotta to retain and repair damaged units using Cintec Anchors. Chemical cleaning to the terracotta in two zones of the façade alongside a steam clean. Life safety activities such as pinning of elements that could be prone to loss of material and the repairs to the roof tiles where needed were also undertaken. Tesserae mosaic, glass mosaic and Majolica panel conservation and regilding have all been completed by DBR Conservation.

All phases of work included production of a design and access management plan for the museum environment, logistics management of working in a live environment, scaffold management plan, competency plans, stakeholder engagement and open communication between all parties.

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