Our work continues on the ceiling restoration at the Grade II* listed Brighton Hippodrome theatre. We recently welcomed ITV News into our workshops as part of a Meridian News feature on the project, and property owners Matsim have announced a target open date of November 2024 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of its closure as a performance venue.
The most spectacular building feature is the circular auditorium with its richly decorated ceiling in the form of a panelled tent. Much of the plasterwork around the ceiling of the auditorium requires refurbishment as it has suffered the effects of age and conditions – the building has been unused since 2006. Our work has involved the securing of large areas of decorative plaster, in order to allow the amazing Victorian circus style enrichments to be saved. The following videos and images show some of the restoration work undertaken to recreate and re-cast these beautiful decorative plaster mouldings.
Much of the process has involved taking damaged and broken sections of plaster away from the venue and painstakingly repairing it in our workshop to use as the basis of making a full size model. From the models we can create moulds to re-cast and restore the ceiling areas around the auditorium back to their best.
This video sequence shows how one detailed ceiling enrichment was recreated in our workshop. Another example is this amazing decorative shell moulding.
BRIGHTON HIPPODROME AUDITORIUM CEILING
The time-lapse video below illustrates the sheer scale of the work undertaken as well as demonstrating the stages of re-making a small portion of the auditorium’s barrel ceiling. It shows the use of many original plaster pieces set onto a curved base and made good before rubber and then fiberglass is laid down to create a mould in four sections. The pink rubber moulds enable new plaster casts to be manufactured in our workshop and then installed on site.
Below you can see sections of the same decorative plaster ceiling for Brighton Hippodrome main auditorium. Here the pink rubber is laid over the repaired plasterwork retrieved from the theatre venue to create moulds. From the moulds we can cast new fibrous plasterwork to restore the room to it’s former glory!