As a construction company that has specialised in operational refurbishment for many years, much of our work at Chisholm & Winch has involved the commercial office sector and airport upgrades. But we also have a varied track record in high-end residential refurbishment, where design development, structural alterations, material selection and bespoke joinery have all been part of creating unique interiors for clients with exacting requirements.
It is this experience that has helped us embed collaboration in our approach to project management, and to integrate quality management at every stage of project delivery in order to surpass the expectations of clients for whom only the best will do. So, what has that experience involved and how have we achieved it?
Many of the luxury home refurbishments we have delivered for private clients have involved working as main contractor with some of the sector’s most renowned architects, such as Norman Foster and David Chipperfield. They have been located in London’s most prestigious locations, including Mayfair, Kensington Palace Gardens, Richmond, Regent’s Park and Highgate.
For each project, the client had a very strong idea of what they wanted from the refurbishment and the architect had already agreed the concept with them before we became involved. Our responsibility entailed working collaboratively with the architect and the client on buildability and specification, with the goal of delivering that vision in practice. This included considering aspects of the build as diverse as the implications of structural alterations, the materials we should use, the programme and the budget, taking advantage of any opportunities for value engineering or buildability improvements along the way.
By listening to the client and the architect, interpreting what they wanted and clarifying the brief, we were able to respond to their requirements and involve them in key decisions. For example, one of these projects included bespoke wash basins, hand carved from solid marble and, as part of our procurement process, we took the client to Italy to select the marble, before commissioning the basins. For many other private home refurbishment projects, bespoke joinery was a significant element of the project and we went through a similar material selection process to determine the right veneers and achieve the look the client wanted.
For many of the bespoke home refurbishments we have delivered, the client has requested a minimalist aesthetic, with lots of bright white finishes and open plan spaces. While this simplicity may seem less complex than some of the demanding heritage projects we have delivered, it leaves nowhere to hide in terms of quality. The clean, elegant interiors of a minimalist apartment are very unforgiving if they are not achieved with absolute perfection This, coupled with clients’ high expectations and underpinned by a commitment to the highest possible standards across our team, has become our culture at Chisholm & Winch.
Some of the private homes we have refurbished as part of our residential portfolio have also been heritage buildings, introducing an additional layer of complexity to delivering the project. For example, 1-2 New Burlington Street, a five-storey Regency house, involved major conservation work as part of the refurbishment programme to create a luxurious private rental property.
The project drew on our strengths in bespoke joinery and sourcing materials in keeping with the existing building. For example, in some of the rooms we refurbished the original Georgian timber panelling, matching new timber to the existing where replacement was required, and restoring those areas that could be preserved.
One of the showpiece elements of the project was a new staircase that curls through the centre of the property. Here, our joinery expertise was deployed to create new balustrades and bannisters that are sympathetic to the period of the building in terms of style, materials and workmanship. The result is a feature that does not pretend to be original but instantly references the period of the original build and appears at home in its surroundings.
Our joinery expertise was also put to good use with the installation of oak floors throughout the building, and we refurbished the heritage doors and the original cornices and architraves.
Raising the bar
Fundamentally, our experience in the high-end residential sector is all about creating properties that people who could choose to live anywhere are proud to call home. These projects set the bar high in terms of quality and project management and it is a standard that we replicate across everything we do.