The OWO London – Decorative Plasterwork, Ceilings, and Cornice

Client: The OWO hotel and residencies
Contractor: Ardmore Construction
Architect: EPR Architects
Location: London
Budget: £2.0mn
Duration: 4 years
Category: Fibrous Plastering

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The sale of the Ministry of Defence Old War Office to the Hinduja Group in partnership with OHL Developments was completed on 1 March 2016. The plan, to sympathetically restore, redevelop and re-imagine the building as a luxury Raffles Hotel and high-quality residential apartments.

Located at 57 Whitehall, Westminster, the War Office is a Grade II* Listed Building originally completed in 1906. It contains around 1,100 rooms across 7 floors, linked by more than 2 miles of corridors walked by the influential political and military leaders of the twentieth century, including Winston Churchill, Lord Haldane and T. E. Lawrence.

The repurposing and restoration project was coordinated by lead contractor Ardmore Group and took place over a six-year period. Artisan Plastercraft was originally appointed to carry out heritage plasterwork surveys and the supply, installation and refurbishment of cornice mouldings. However, our contribution grew significantly to include many other areas of heritage and ornamental plasterwork restoration.

Most prominent to visitors of Raffles London at The OWO hotel is the decorative plaster ceilings above the main staircase. The dramatic coffered archways and arresting barrel vault ceiling is topped off with an enriched oculus, restored back to its best by Artisan’s master plasterers.

image of the old war office main staircase decorative plaster ceiling

The high standard of execution continues through to the Whitehall Ballroom ceiling, where we installed a bespoke-designed coffered suspended ceiling with lighting troughs and custom moulded access panels to match the textured acoustic surface finish.

image of the old war office whitehall ballroom ceiling

Further highlights include the ornamental ceiling decorations for the Drawing Room and Guards Bar, flagship social spaces with views overlooking Whitehall and Horse Guards respectively.

Those with a special interest in James Bond 007, the movie Spectre and the secret service will want to experience the drinks bar located in rooms once used by the Secret Intelligence Bureau (MI5). Artisan Plastercraft made and installed brick sheet panels to compliment the exposed brickwork walls. The War Office building has been used as a film location in five Bond films.

image of ornamental plaster ceiling at the old war office

In addition to the development of the public hotel facilities, bedrooms and corridors also received restoration and replacement of match-to-existing decorative cornice, ceiling mouldings, beam casings and more, in what was a comprehensive and extensive project for our staff. But work didn’t end there, as a similar level of attention to detail is exercised in the private residencies and heritage suites that will form a collection of incomparable private homes offering the full complement of Raffles services to the lucky owners.

In conclusion, the Old War Office is set for its new future as a prime destination and residence, and we are proud to have played an important part in its presentation with plasterwork restored across so many areas of the building.

For more information about guest experiences and visiting see Raffles London at The OWO website.

Client: The OWO hotel and residencies
Contractor: Ardmore Construction
Architect: EPR Architects
Location: London
Budget: £2.0mn
Duration: 4 years
Category: Fibrous Plastering

Get in touch today

To discuss your requirements call us on 01959 432567 or fill out our contact form here

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We understand that choosing the right company for your project is important for project success, budget efficiency and your reputation.  We manufacture and install superior custom plaster mouldings, we re-create period plaster features as well as offering traditional lime plastering & lath and plaster.