April 25, 2011 12.17 pm This story is over 135 months old

University helps restore grand London hotel

Fully restored: Workers from the University of Lincoln have helped restore a Victorian hotel, which took nine years of work.

An old hotel in St Pancras, London is about to be revealed, after conservation and restoration experts from the University of Lincoln worked on it.

The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel at Kings Cross took nine years to restore and will be officially re-opened on May 5.

The hotel restoration project cost £150 million, and Crick-Smith University of Lincoln worked on areas such as the entrance hall, main coffee lounge, ladies’ coffee lounge, main entrance corridors, grand staircase, first floor corridor and the state guest room.

Workers from the university also did paint analysis and appearance research for the main public areas of the hotel in the early stages.

The biggest challenge for the team was recreating the paint stencil on the ceiling and wall faces (pictured) in the main entrance hall.

Conservator and Researcher at Crick-Smith UL, Paul Croft, said: “We were faced with significant damage to a very elaborate stencil scheme and decorative plaster work.

“Less than 20% of it, over an area covering 18 by 6 metres, could still be clearly seen, with the rest being either completely lost or lying under a layer of black soot.

“An added problem was that subsequent layers of paint that had been applied over the original paintwork over the years had blistered from the heat of the fire, so we had to find a way of removing the soot and the damaged later paint layers, without damaging the original decor.”

“This detective work certainly drew on our expertise.

“However, it ultimately led to the successful and, importantly, accurate reinstatement of the entire scheme which we hope will delight visitors to the hotel for many more years to come.”

The original gothic architecture building was first designed by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott and opened om May 5, 1873.

The opening of the hotel will also mark the completion of the regeneration of Eurostar’s St Pancras International Station.

Find out more about the intricate restoration work on the Crick Smith website.

Source: University of Lincoln | Photo: Crick Smith