Belgrave Square is a famous address not far from Buckingham Palace and Victoria Station. The façades of the embassies there all look very similar and not only impress tourists, but are also imposing edifices in the world of politics.
In the run-up to the Olympic Games London enjoyed a lively building boom, so not wanting to be outdone, the German Embassy decided to give the exterior of its largest representation in Europe a face-lift for all to see.
At over 140 years old the building was beginning to show its age, and so it was a question of repairing the façade, roofs and balconies before the Olympic Games, while making sure that every detail of the listed building was preserved.
For structural reasons the flat roofs were not able to bear any heavy system build-ups and so the decision was taken to install light, but highly flexible waterproofing using PMMA resins, since these offer excellent adhesion - particularly to the new timber substrate - and are still able to accommodate movement.
Some of the balconies had an asphalt surface and all of them were stripped down to the sound substrate. Once the primer had been applied, PMMA mortar was used to create a gradient and this could be coated immediately with the liquid resin and a self-levelling mortar. The many details and joins where different materials met around balustrades, drains, wall bases and offsets were easily waterproofed with PMMA-based liquid resin. This allowed the very tight deadline to be met, particularly since a number of important events were due to take place at the Embassy around the time of the Olympics. A quartz sand topping combined with the black finish approved by English Heritage created an attractive look as well as a non-slip solution.
After all, which manufacturer would like to risk some important politician injuring himself or herself on the flooring supplied?