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Refurbishment Contractors

Breathing new life into old buildings through sensitive refurbishment projects is something we take great pride in. From classical Grade listed heritage buildings to drab offices and retail parks in need of a facelift, Russell WBHO has more than 20 years’ experience in revitalising buildings across all sectors.

Where sensitive historic restoration is required, we have a team of heritage experts, traditional craftsmen, and specialist suppliers ready to assist.

Hotel Refurbishment Project Specifics

Liverpool’s Grade II Listed Municipal Buildings opened in 1866 to house council staff. They were built in an Italian/French Renaissance style and are decorated by 16 sandstone statues around its facade, representing the city’s arts, sciences and industries. The bell tower, a pyramidal spire, is visible throughout the city.

The Municipal buildings had been the base of council workers, and its many historic features were important fixtures in the city. So when we teamed up with The Fragrance Group UK, it was crucial to treat this refurbishment project sensitively to ensure the delicate restoration of a much-loved landmark that also served the client.

This refurbishment project included the creation of 179 hotel guest suites, a new restaurant and bar, and a stunning atrium reception hall. We also had to work closely with architects to construct a new-build bronze clad extension for additional bedrooms, a spa complex with first floor pool, gym and treatment rooms.

Decorative vaulted and coffered ceilings, friezes and marble fireplaces, tile dados, and a striking basilica-like main hall are just some of the historic features within the building that needed to be protected and sensitively restored during the refurbishment project. The wealth and scale of these historic features are part of what made the Municipal Buildings refurbishment project such an exciting challenge.

Office Refurbishment Projects

Federation House in Manchester was originally built by the Co-operative Wholesale Society in the late 1800s. NOMA, one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects with new build and refurbishment schemes across 20 acres of Manchester City Centre, took on the building. They wanted to create a blank canvas for occupiers, aiming to attract those in the creative and digital industries and those who like a collaborative working environment.

The refurbishment project in the Federation building included:
● Demotion and strip out of all internal finishes
● Full refurbishment of all 9 floors and conversion to open plan layout
● Facade remedial works, cleaning, and window repairs

Due to its city centre location, adjacent to a tram line and right next to Victoria train station, there were buildings and main roads on all sides, so we had to work around a tight construction site for the duration of the refurbishment project.

The project was completed in 2016, and we successfully stripped back the 71,300 sq ft of office space to create open floor plans and high ceilings to make the most of the natural light and heritage features.

Not far from the Federation Building is Dantzic, also taken on for regeneration by NOMA. Dantzic is an example of fine art deco design, with all 45,000 sq ft of warehouse space being erected in 1937.

The refurbishment project of Dantzic included:
● Demolition and strip out of all internal finishes
● Full refurbishment of all 9 floors and conversion to open plan layout
● Facade remedial works, cleaning and window repairs

Exactly like the Federation Building, the Grade II Listed Dantzic is also adjacent to the tramlines with buildings and main roads on all four sides.

During the refurbishment project, suspended ceilings were removed to reveal the full height of the windows, allowing lots of natural light into the open plan office. Original parquet floors to all 7 office floors were given a new lease of life by carrying out repairs, sanding and sealing, making this office unique to the rest in Manchester.

The building underwent all new bespoke like for like window replacement giving the exact same appearance as before, but with enhanced performance design. The decision to refurbish the building’s existing lift rather than installing new saved the project both time and money.

The refurbishment project and Dantzic meant uncovering historic features that had been hidden for decades, many of which have proven popular aesthetically with creative and tech firms across the globe.

Sometimes a refurbishment project will require more transformation than just open plan office space. The Redfern Building in Manchester needed 2 floors of retail space, 5 floors of office space, and the top 2 floors as office space with a roof terrace.

Redfern was also built for the Co-operative society in 1936 and is a stunning example of Dutch modernist design. The refurbishment project included replacing existing windows, refurbishing stair cores, 2 new passenger lifts and 2 accessible lifts, installation of WCs, and facade repairs.

You can read more about our refurbishment projects below.

“Russell WBHO’s reputation for high quality delivery of large scale listed building refurbishments, together with their vast experience of hotel developments, gave us confidence to bring them on board for this important project.”
– Martin Rogers, MD Fragrance Group UK


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