A plaster company has been recognized for its work on a 20-year project to restore a heritage-listed hotel that once hosted Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin.
Based in Keston near Biggin Hill, Artisan Plastercraft worked on the £45 million refit of the Grand Hotel in Birmingham, which originally opened in 1879.
Director Michael Arney said: “This building is one of the best surviving examples of Victorian architecture in Birmingham.
“The Grand Hotel’s ornate period features have been restored, both inside and out, and one of Birmingham’s most beloved buildings has once again opened its doors as a lavish luxury hotel.
“It has been a long and enjoyable project for us, utilizing our expertise in traditional fiber and lime plasters, free cut lime casting, using traditional tools.”
It restored the fibrous plaster – decorative work that takes longer and is more expensive than traditional plaster – suspended ceilings in the Grosvenor Room and balcony and ballroom.
The balcony ceiling had sustained significant water damage, so it had to be secured before it could be replicated.
The company then spent a year restoring new trim elevations for areas such as picture rails.
Workers also performed traditional plastering work to restore some walls and ceilings.
Artisan Plastercraft has now been recognized for its work on the building and has been named the winner of the Heritage Plastering category of the Finishes and Interiors Sector Contractors Awards.
It was also nominated for the Gypsum Trophy Awards for contractors who achieve impossible feats with world-class materials.
The 185-room hotel has an illustrious past, playing host to royalty, the rich and famous.
King George VI, Winston Churchill, Malcolm X, Charlie Chaplin and James Cagney are just some of the notable guests who have been received there.
The restoration and renovation project was spearheaded by the Starwood Capital Group, a private investment company that partnered with Hortons’ Estate, whose founder Isaac Horton originally built the hotel in the 1870s.