Construction Phase | Vendome Project

As the initial vital crisis, the roof was the focus as construction commenced. In order for the concrete roof to be fully rectified and operational, the new construction had to attend to a multitude of these defects simultaneously. This involved a carefully planned single innovative solution to combat the following defects regarding the roof:

  • Inappropriate fall to the perimeter of the roof
  • Lack of storm water drainage
  • No eaves to protect the face of the external wall
  • Waterproofing problems around the skylights/ ineffective abrasive membrane
  • Lack of thermal comfort
  • Lack of electrical services and lighting internally
  • Major structural cracks and exposed steel reinforcement
  • Inadequate and rusted handrail

Here it is evident that more than a mere “patch up job” was required to rectify such extensive problems. As such Bleyer Constructions implemented the construction of a new waffle-pod concrete slab which consisted of:

  • Core holes through existing slab providing extensive lighting internally
  • Waterproofed cement screed underneath the slab with appropriate fall to catchments
  • New complete membrane over the entire roof and cement screed 100% water tight
  • Polystyrene waffle pods underneath the slab providing environmentally sustainable thermal insulation to the building
  • Sufficient fall in waterproofed slab to rainwater heads, either side of the roof.
  • Eaves with a continuous drip grove protecting the external walls and windows
  • New stainless steel handrail on the concrete hob around the perimeter of the roof.

This illustrates the new lighting systems installed below the cement screed. This will provide the required lighting internally as well as correct the existing fall of the original slab.

Extensive scaffolding was erected around the perimeter of the building in order to safely form up and pour the concrete slab. Below the photograph outlines the intricate formwork needed to compensate for appropriate and accurate fall to the two catchment areas. The circle outlines one of the storm water catchments, the slab will fall to this area and its opposite side to traffic storm water effectively to rain water heads and not over the side of the roof as previously so. This was all accounted for in the forming up of the slab.

The cement screed finished at the underside of the polystyrene and was screeded with the same fall that the concrete would have. The screed had a waterproofing additive mixed into the cement, which in itself ensured that it would be watertight before any membrane was applied. This meant that the screed acted as a “fail-safe” secondary measure for water proofing if ever moisture were to get underneath the slab to be poured. Once the slab was poured, this would be unreachable, thus imperative in waterproofing the internal of the building.

Subsequently, a monolithic water tight membrane was applied over the electrical conduits, screed and returned up each skylight. This replaced for the previous ineffective green membrane, as another measure to ensure the building was watertight.

This photograph illustrates the highly specialized waffle pods implemented for the pouring of the concrete slab. These waffle pods not only supports the concrete as it cures allowing for any expansion and contraction, they are environmentally sustainable thermal insulation for the building. These refrigerated polystyrene blocks curb the extreme temperatures previously experienced in the summer and winter, drastically reducing the buildings energy reliance. This is an “eco-friendly” way of improving the house’s energy efficiency as the owners no longer have to hose the concrete roof down in scorching temperatures.

Here the new slab is being poured over the membrane, with 40MPa and the correct fall to the rainwater heads. This solved the previous dramatic water problems.

A skylight repaired from the rust and mildew caused by the previous roof. This was able once the new slab was constructed.

This extensive scaffolding was erected around the façade of the building in order to repair the damaged concrete columns as well as replace the existing hazardous glass.

This is a photo of the totally restored façade. Here the concrete columns were repaired and repainted. In between each column exclusive sheets of custom manufactured 10mm toughened glass was installed. Not only do these new windows surpass safety standards, they re-illuminate the unique appearance of this Seaforth landmark with elegance.

In addition, custom made architectural louver windows and bifold commercial grade windows were installed throughout the house, replacing the unsafe ineffective windows. These stylish windows complement the main glass windows in the two “view rooms”.

Here is another photo of some of the commercial grade bifold doors and sliding windows installed during the construction phase.

Apart from the windows, the other major interior cosmetic renovation undertaken was the artistic terrazzo flooring which replaced obsolete carpet. This intricate process involved cement screeding, patterned articulation joints as well as natural stones such as onyx, marble, jade etc cut into artwork and glued to the floor.

This shows the articulation joints of the terrazzo floor installed on top of the cement screed. Hence the emerging pattern of slabs of terrazzo.

This picture demonstrates the natural stones cut into a multitude of artwork, now glued to the floor. Now it is ready for the white marble based cement screed to be filled around the stones.

Photos recently included in the Exhibition at Customs House curated by Patrick Keane “Form to Formless”

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