Szerelmey installs world’s first suspended stone ceiling at Rothschild Bank Headquaters, New Court, London, Ec4

Szerelmey, the stonework and restoration specialist, has installed the world’s first ever suspended stone ceiling at the Rothschild Bank Headquarters in the City of London, enabling air conditioning and electrical equipment to be stored in the void above.

And in a testament to its distinctive qualities the ceiling was shortlisted for the Special Suspended Ceiling Award at the Federation of Plasterers and Drywall Contractors Awards.

The unique, prefabricated and lightweight, Travertine stone suspended ceiling, is located in the reception area of Rothschild’s New Court building, London, EC4 and while it has the appearance of grand, solid stone, it provides all the benefits of a traditional suspended ceiling.

It was assembled off-site in separate panels, which eliminated the inefficiencies of wet trades that come with installing a traditional stone ceiling. New Court took only 40 per cent of the time that it would have taken to install a traditional stone ceiling – so time and money was saved. 

The lightweight, prefabricated panels allowed the ceiling to be suspended via a normal suspended ceiling fixing system. Innovatively, the prefabricated panels were created by a very thin layer of stone being applied to an aluminium honey comb structure. A hard finish is enabled because the panels interlock on installation giving a monolithic structure, but the design incorporates a joint between the stone tile finish for in situ grouting which leaves the ceiling looking completely hand laid with no grooves or gaps.

Darren Moore of Szerelmey explains: “Installing a traditional stone ceiling can be tricky and time consuming – it creates mess onsite and getting the right weight and thickness is usually challenging. The prefabricated suspended ceiling system we used at New Court was easier to install and gave the client storage options.

“A great deal of electrical equipment relating to lighting and security cameras is hidden above the ceiling panels at New Court. However, the client still has what appears to be a sophisticated stone ceiling.

“We are excited about the future prospects the system has due to the significant benefits it provides. Travertine stone was used at New Court but the same could be done with any type of stone. We expect to be working on similar projects at other offices and luxury hotels that require the style a stone ceiling brings.”

The work was undertaken for Rothschild. The developer is Stanhope, the construction manger is Lend Lease and the architects are Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon’s, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

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