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The Old War Office

William Young was the architect commissioned in 1898 by HM Office of Works to design the new War Office. The first brick was laid in September 1901 and, when the building was completed five years later, it comprised some 26,000 and 3,000 tons respectively of Portland and York stone, as well as 25 million bricks.

Kenyon was engaged to carry out the restoration of the decorations to this fine, iconic British building. Adhering to strict security protocols was key to the successful completion of the project, as was a flexible approach to programming. The finish achieved was of the highest standard appropriate for such a prestigious and historically significant building.

After removing all of the existing decorative layers, Kenyon applied specialist decorating techniques so as to return the building to the grandeur appropriate to its status. The techniques and finishes used included rag rolling, dragging, ragging, graining and marbling. The existing masonry and stone features were fully restored and a comprehensive cleaning and external redecorating programme was undertaken. Very special attention was devoted to restoring the existing fibrous plaster mouldings to their original condition. Hardwood joinery was repolished throughout the building.