Repairing the apples and pears at Piccadilly

As part of station improvements at Piccadilly tube station, Diespeker & Co is handling a major project to replace five staircases in the company’s first foray into working within the capital’s underground network.

The project requires the old staircases to be removed completely and new stairs to be installed. Due to the heavy footfall at the station, the stairs need to be extremely robust.

Interestingly, the stairs are being made from bespoke terrazzo created to match the design historically used on the station concourse. Diespeker’s ability to match existing terrazzo was key to the contract.

Diespeker’s MD, John Krause said: “We were given a tiny section from the original floor to match.

“I’m delighted to say we achieved a suitable match using the traditional terrazzo methods that Diespeker still uses in our dedicated workshop.”

The terrazzo is made up of 3 to 5mm chips of beige Botticino and five per cent black marble chippings in white cement.

Another challenge of the project is a requirement for the terrazzo to include an L shaped join on the riser just below the rebate for metal nosing, both for increased pedestrian safety and to protect the stair edging.

The project also includes the refurbishment of travertine to either side of the stairs. Travertine is a limestone rather than marble commonly used for cladding.

With footfall constant at this busy central London tube station, the stairs are being replaced one at a time, with a new one completed before any work starts on the next.

This is the first significant underground project for Diespeker in over 20 years and one we hope will lead to further work that utilises our unique skills in matching terrazzo.

Contractor: Szerelmey, stonework, faience and restoration specialists

Before the restoration

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