Dulwich College - PAYE
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Dulwich College

Dulwich College

Dulwich College was founded in 1619 in Dulwich Village by the actor and impresario Edward Alleyn as “Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift”. In 1870 the College moved to new buildings nearby designed by Charles Barry Junior and known as the “New College”.

The Grade II* Listed buildings are of significant architectural interest constructed from loadbearing masonry; using brickwork, decorative terracotta and Portland stone. In order to maintain and return the facades to a good state of repair, an extensive external programme of works is taking place to conserve the masonry, windows and roofs. The programme of work lasting 56 weeks, to be complete by the end of January 2018, has ensured uninterrupted use of the buildings by the school without compromise to health and safety, quality or cost.

The specification and scope was carefully developed in advance by completing a series of external surveys; inspecting from ground level, Mobile Elevating Working Platforms (MEWPs) and via access to the roof. This survey information was used to produce highly detailed elevation drawings indicating the extent and location of work to be carried out, together with quantified schedules of repair.

The terracotta was at risk from fracture and collapse caused by the corrosion and expansion of embedded metal dowels and restraints. In order to repair and make these safe, these features were carefully dismantled, salvaging where possible all material for re-use. Complete units of terracotta were retained to be re-used where possible and kept as models to manufacture new replacement material. The largest finials stand over 2 metres high.
Replacement terracotta has been manufactured using traditional techniques from examples taken from site to create models to form plaster moulds. Where this hasn’t been possible, clay maquettes have been hand modelled from detailed drawings and cross checked with profiles on site.

The scale and volume of enriched, intricate architectural detailing that embellishes the facades may not be fully appreciated from ground level, but it is attention to form and detail that make the buildings so historically important and essential to conserve for future generations.
The majority of the repair work has been concentrated at roof level to the Centre Block, which includes the brick and terracotta turrets, finials and pierced terracotta balustrading that encapsulates the complete perimeter of the building.

The facades have been cleaned using specialist conservation techniques to minimise damage and to remove years of soiling, revealing the original colour and finish to the masonry beneath, and enabling masonry and pointing repairs. The rebuilt terracotta has been fixed using marine grade stainless steel to prevent future corrosion and damage.  Additional work to the buildings includes extensive tuck-pointing to brickwork, brick replacement, stone repairs, roof repairs, window repair and redecoration.