Category Archives: joinery

Refurbishment of Barbican Centre

Summary = A comprehensive refurbishment to the Barbican Centre and backstage dressing rooms, within a tight seven week programme.

Client = The Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London (as owners, founder and principle funder of the Barbican Centre)

Challenge = All works were carried out within a functioning backstage of the Concert Hall.

Solution = The Barbican Centre is the largest multi-arts centre in Europe, and forms part of the Grade 2 listed Barbican Estate, reflecting its special architectural and historic interest. After a successful tender through the City of London procurement portal, Bakers of Danbury carried out backstage and stage flooring refurbishment works to the Barbican Centre, within a tight seven week programme. Specifically, this included comprehensive refurbishment works to all twenty one dressing rooms serving the Concert Hall, with the Conductor’s suite and five other dressing rooms refurbished to a 5 star hotel standard. The project also included repair and restoration works to the existing solid Canadian Maple stage floor and riser sections of the Hall's stage area. As it was condensed programme requiring close coordination of a number of complex works packages, we assigned both a Site Manager (Lee Kerrison) and Assistant Site Manager (Ken Marshall) to the project full-time to proactively manage the delivery and ensure it remained on-track and within budget.

As all works were carried out within a functioning backstage of the Concert Hall, temporary walkways were created to enable the Barbican Centre employees to carry on about their business, without coming into contact with the works underway. During the preconstruction stage the Contract Manager liaised with the Client to provide program updates, agree alternative access routes, times of working, periods during the day when noisy works were minimised, as well as providing briefings to building occupants who lived in residential flats above the Concert Hall. In addition to the Site Manager’s daily inspection of works, Bakers’ Contracts Manager held a weekly site meeting with the Site Manager to inspect works, checking quality, health and safety and the progress against the project programme.

The refurbishment works to the dressing rooms and Conductor’s suite included new kitchenette areas, acoustic absorption panels and new timber veneer panels to walls within hardwood frames, redecoration of ceiling panels and carpeting. Fixtures and fittings; multipurpose room units, vanity units, built-in wardrobes, daybeds and tv units hand built out of Cedar of Lebanon, by Bakers of Danbury’s in-house joinery workshop. Bakers’ joinery workshop was used to ensure a tight control of the supply chain in terms of quality and programming. This also enabled a close liaison between Ken Marshall onsite and the Joinery Manager in the workshop in Danbury. Assistant Site Manager Ken Marshall has many years’ experience of onsite carpentry, so was given the responsibility of managing the complex joinery from Bakers’ joinery workshop to installation on site.

Access traps were removed from the stage floor and a new lift car (and framework behind) was installed with Canadian Maple to match the existing. The stage was given an anti-slip finish and fire rated varnish. The wall panels were also given a fire rated finish. New integrated lighting solutions, data works, electrical services and fire alarm systems were also installed. This required close coordination between Bakers’ joiners and mechanical and electrical contractors.

A new air-conditioning system was required to the existing projector room which posed a considerable challenge to the distant location of the plant room. Bakers noted at an early stage that the original design of the system could not be implemented due to existing and immovable plant and structure. Bakers engaged their specialist S.V.Bullen at an early stage, held meetings with the design team and ensured that a designed solution was produced and implemented which enabled the installation of the required system within the confines of the existing structure.

A list of bespoke fittings and other items for interior fit out such as televisions, lamps, bins, tables and chairs were procured cost effectively by Bakers’ Quantity Surveyor, who worked with the Client to review the specification and provide three options per item across a range of budgets.

Bespoke joinery and furniture

Summary = The renovation and internal refurbishment together with a new build pool house extension. To ensure the finished home was of the highest quality; the owners also stipulated high quality bespoke joinery and furniture to be installed throughout.

Challenge = This Grade ll Listed seven-bedroom house was in need of a substantial renovation and sympathetic internal refurbishment throughout.

Solution = The owners were aware of Bakers of Danbury's reputation for providing high quality craftsmanship and were pleased to find out, not only could Bakers of Danbury design the architectural timber work and bespoke joinery and furniture, but also can manufacture everything for the project by using their in-house joinery workshop.

In total the team designed, manufactured and installed the following bespoke joinery and furniture:

  • Internal bespoke fitted wardrobes
  • Internal doors, similar style to the original doors to comply with new fire regulations
  • Two new bespoke staircases with balustrades
  • Sash windows to match those existing and refurbishment of those windows that could be restored
  • Wall panelling to match the existing in the playroom and lounge area
  • Ornate radiator covers
  • In addition to the extensive joinery work, Bakers of Danbury also demolished and re-built the pool house. With new underground drainage, the new pool house now boasts tiled changing rooms throughout, themed lighting and handmade double glazed windows and French doors with fanlights to match the rest of the property.

    Inside the house a beautiful oak floor was salvaged from other rooms within the farm house and re-laid to make an impressive entrance lobby. Elsewhere, the original oak and parquet flooring was brought back to life after being taken up, re-laid, then expertly sanded and finished.

    As a result of the project, the home has truly been brought back to its former glory, with the attention to detail and high quality workmanship shining through. The owners described Bakers of Danbury as being “very professional, skilled and polite”.

    The owners were so impressed with the work carried out, that they asked Bakers of Danbury to return and restore their stable block.

    Hand Carved Village Signs

    Bakers of Danbury have hand carved and restored village signs going back many years now. The earliest village sign on our records dates back to 1960, for the of village Pebmarsh in Essex.

    Bakers of Danbury’s Joinery Workshop still regularly undertake village sign projects - from refurbishment and redecoration; to a full design service for brand new village signs.

    Village Sign Refurbishment:

    Village sign refurbishment works involve collecting the sign from its village location, cleaning, sanding and repairing any defects using hardwood timber. We will hand carve where necessary, then carry out a full re-decoration which will include hand painting the village sign. When the refurbished village sign is returned to its former glory, we will reinstate the refurbished village sign back at its village location.

    Design of New Village Signs:

    For brand new village signs, our full design service includes sitting down with the client to bring their thought’s to life. We will produce detailed drawings of the village sign. The design will be to scale (life sized) to give the client a real feel of what the final sign will look like.

    Once the detailed drawings are approved, Bakers of Danbury’s specialist joinery department will hand carve the new design out of hardwood. Hand carving a village sign can take some time depending on its detail.

    Once we have a completed hand carved village sign, it will be hand painted using special exterior paint to give the highest quality finish. Finally, the installation will take place at the village sign location.

    Recent projects:

    We have recently refurbished, repaired and decorated a National Beacon for the village of Purfleet. The beacon itself was refurbished and it's post repaired. We carried out a full decoration of the sign and installed a new concrete base.

    We have recently refurbished signs for Halstead, Woodford Green, Roxwell and East Bergholt.

    Shop Display Units

    Summary: Shop display units handcrafted from MDF and Oak with a sprayed paint finish and stained oak edge

    Location: Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, London

    Architect: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Interior Design, Decoration and Antiques

    Challenge: Short lead time

    Solution: Bakers of Danburys’ Specialist Joinery Workshop handcrafted eight display units for Colefax & Fowler’s new Interior Design Shop which is located in Chelsea Harbour, London.

    The display units were constructed from 30mm MDF with a lino top covering and an oak edging applied to the unit tops.

    The units were finished in a factory spray with a stained oak edging. The project had a short lead time. To enable the project to meet its completion deadline the whole team had to work very closely and our joiners worked some overtime.

    Colefax & Fowler are a repeat customer of Bakers of Danbury, we look forward to working with Colefax & Fowler again in the future.

    English Oak Storage & WC

    Summary: English Oak bespoke DDA and Dementia friendly wc, storage cupboards, children's library and pew storage area

    Location: St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden

    Architect: Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects

    Challenge: Attention to detail was important in this project as it was all made of English Oak and stained on site.

    Solution: One of the largest parish churches in Essex, the building dates mainly from the fifteenth century.

    Bakers of Danbury’s Specialist Joinery department manufactured and installed an English Oak bespoke DDA and Dementia friendly wc, storage cupboards, children's library and pew storage area. All were crafted by our Joiners from English Oak in our joinery shop, it was then taken apart and wrapped flat pack for transit, before being fitted by our onsite carpenters.

    Great attention was paid to the highest spec soundproofing, with all panels either insulated with a solid block board or infilled with bricks to eliminate noise. The WC door alone weighed over 100kg.

    Every post included a hand carved crocus detail to the top. The complete project was very detailed and complex with hand carved designs, modern sliding doors and bespoke detailed cornice which ran around the top of the complete project.

    The church re-ordering project to St Mary the Virgin in Saffron Walden was Highly Commended in the Diocese of Chelmsford, Design Awards in 2019.

    Click on the image below to watch a short film showing our bench joiner and wood carver, Norman Valentine hand carving a crocus detail for the re-ordering project at St Mary the Virgin, Saffron Walden, Essex.


    American Oak Panelling

    Summary: American Oak panelling measuring 220 m2 for a School of Science on Euston Road, London

    Location: Grafton House, Euston Road, London

    Client: Forrest Gate Construction

    Challenge: The oak panelling was across four floors. Each with a different layout

    Solution: Bakers of Danbury’s Specialist Joinery Department were asked to supply 220m2 of American White Oak for a refurbishment to Grafton House in London.

    The project was a conversion of an existing building to a modern science school.

    All of the panels and oak had to be class 0 fire rated. Baker’s Joiners painted and installed over 2000 meters of oak strips which were fixed to painted black 12mm MDF with spacing’s of 20mm to give a shadow gap appearance.

    The project was split across four floors and each floor had a different layout, so a full site survey was necessary to ensure each floor was measured correctly.