When working on a building, one of the most important considerations to make is the preservation of its original aesthetic, so that the historical essence of the building is not lost. The visual components of a building are sometimes what make it so different when compared to others, a quality that also makes it unique and special – and if the building is listed, then this is even more necessary since a major change can make it lose its status.
So, when carrying out new work, such as building extensions or modifications, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the old and the new should look the same, as if they were done by the same architects and designers.
Take flooring for example. When replacing the original flooring in a traditional building, it is of paramount importance for the new floor to reflect the colour, texture and finish of the old stone. Many traditional buildings in the UK may have used flooring from local sources when originally constructed, which may no longer be available or accessible today. Many native slate quarries are still operational today, e.g. Welsh or Cumbrian sources, however you may find your project’s budget will become strained by the cost of these premium materials.
But worry not! There are many cost effective alternatives to these materials that area visually sympathetic and available in a range of finishes, making it even easier to match the original.
Our Ravendale and Elterdale flooring ranges are available in a tumbled finish, which would be excellently suited to flooring projects that aim to be authentic to the worn, aged appearance of old flag stones. The gently chipped and rounded edges resembling a floor which has tolerated decades of wear and tear. The Ravendale and Elterdale colours provide cost effective alternatives to Welsh Dark Blue Grey and Cumbrian Green slates respectively.
In order to preserve the original aesthetic, architects and builders should first understand what the heart of the design is, so as to be able to adapt to each building’s needs to maintain its integrity. Once established, a project that intends to preserve the aesthetic instead of a complete renovation should change as little as possible. Major structural modifications should be avoided, as they would completely alter the design.
This means that any changes, internal or external, should be minimal and absolutely necessary. If your flooring project does not entail the removal of the entire flooring surface in a given space but instead patchwork where flooring may be damaged, then it would be advised that like for like materials are sourced prior to the removal of any original flooring. This would also allow for planning around possibly long availability lead times.
However as mentioned earlier, the original flooring that you seek to partially replace may have been sourced from a quarry no longer in operation at all. These are the sort of queries that require answers prior to any restoration project.
It is clear that the only way to guarantee the preservation of a building’s aesthetic while conducting new work is through tailored solutions. It’s important to remember that there is generally not a one size fits all remedy, and that detailed research and design are the key to success.
If you require any advice or guidance with regard to a restoration project, please do not hesitate to contact our staff, their expertise will guide you through the process of your project. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, so head on over and check out our projects in more detail.