Undergoing renovation to provide greater space for artists and the public alike, a historic print warehouse in Newcastle was in desperate need of repair work to preserve its steel framed concrete structure. The solution was found in a reliable combination of specialist structural repair products from global manufacturer of construction materials, Sika
Formerly providing studios for 18 artists and a small gallery, the restoration of the building has now created almost 4,000 square feet of space, including 2 striking galleries with natural daylight, a spectacular scissor staircase in the central core of the building and studio space for 44 artists occupying 27 studios with accompanying office and retail space.
The concept for this stylish renovation was designed by architects Jabornegg & Pálffy, architecturally managed by Atkins with structural engineering support from White Young Green. The project was delivered by main contractor, Rok Building Ltd, and Rok’s own specialists, Rok Stonecare, repaired the concrete structure of the building.
Funding for the project was provided by the European Development Fund; Arts Council, England; One North East; Tyne Wear Partnership; Barbour Trust; James Knott Trust and Newcastle City Council.
Built from steel mesh reinforced lightweight concrete slabs that had degraded over time, it was essential that repairs took place to ensure the integrity of the structure. Rok Stonecare specified a system that utilised Sika‘s Sikacem 133 Gunite to repair the concrete and Sika‘s Ferrogard 903 to provide protection to the ailing steel reinforcement of the structure. The layers of repair materials also provide fire protection to the concrete slabs by shielding it from heat and preventing it from weakening in the event of a fire.
After the mechanical preparation and cleaning of the substrate to ensure a good bonding surface, the Sikacem 133 Gunite was spray applied to a depth of 20mm on the underside of the concrete floors on all four storeys of the building. A cement based, polymer modified one component repair mortar containing silica fume and high range water reducing agents, it is ideal for use on any large scale project. Featuring rapid strength gain without set accelerators, it was a perfect choice of repair mortar for the High Bridge Studios and Gallery.
To create an ongoing and striking aesthetic for the gallery’s redevelopment, in keeping with the design it was decided that the sprayed repair mortar should be left “as shot”. This unfinished look complemented the industrial theme of the gallery, which had been chosen because of the structure‘s former use as a warehouse.
The repair mortar was then covered by a spray applied coat of Sika Ferrogard 903. An essential part of Sika‘s concrete repair system, the protective liquid delays and slows the rate of steel corrosion, extending the maintenance and service life cycles of concrete for up to fifteen years. Easily applied and economic, it is simply sprayed onto surfaces and does not alter the water diffusion properties of concrete. For its many desirable qualities, Sika Ferrogard 903 is often chosen for use on heritage projects and aesthetically valuable structures.
Following extensive testing, Sika’s entire range of concrete repair products is certified to BS EN 1504, the European standard for concrete repair. This accreditation applies not only to the production quality of the products themselves but also to the guidance issued with them. The accreditation ensures users of the high quality nature of Sika’s concrete repair systems.
The completed building, which enjoys enviable views over Newcastle, has generated a great deal of public interest and artists are now settling down to work in their stylish new home, fully protected by Sika’s market leading concrete repair system for years to come.
For further information on Sika’s range of products, including a new brochure available for download, visit www.sikaconstruction.co.uk
or for general enquiries including technical, on or off site support, please call 0800 1123863.