At the beginning of August 2011, Vetter UK completed the stone work facade on the Westminster Magistrates Court, a new facility for Her Majesty’s Courts in the heart of London.
The main element of work involved the design, supply, manufacture and installation of 2,400m² of Cadeby Limestone to the external facade of the building, incorporating a feature lattice wall and a hand carved stone “Coat of Arms”, which has created a stunning new entrance to the front of the court building. Inside the building Vetter UK installed 550m² of conglomerate tiling to the ground floor main foyer and lift lobbies and ceramic and mosaic tiles to both the walls and floors of 50 WC’s.
Both the main and feature lattice facades were engineered with offsite manufacturing principles in mind. The internal backing wall of the main facade was built using the Kingspan Offsite system, where large storey high panels (approximately three metres wide) were manufactured at the factory, transported to site, hoisted and fixed into position. The stonework for the main facade was manufactured and hand fixed by Vetter UK masons.
The large stone mullions of the feature lattice wall were designed to be hung from a concrete sub frame, to achieve an imposing monolithic look. Individual stones were manufactured by the stone supplier in South Yorkshire, and transported to the Laing O’Rourke Explore Industrial Park for assembly and post tensioning into 27, nine metre and three metre mullions. The mullions were delivered to site on a flat bed lorry in protective steel cradles. These were then hoisted from the lay down area over the building using the tower crane and then installed into their final position by the Vetter UK masons.
Stone selection was of paramount importance for the newly commissioned “Coat of Arms” as the stone needed to match the cladding and be of good carving quality. Following agreement of the final design of the crest, a half scale clay model was produced for inspection and final sign-off by the client and architect prior to commencement of carving. A team of six mason carvers worked to produce the final eye-catching piece, which now sits proudly above the main entrance to the building.