Preserving The Ivy

Thursday 11 Feb 2010

RBC helps save a piece of London's past

London’s legendary restaurant, The Ivy has recently been remodelled to include a private members club, The Club at The Ivy. Regional Building Control (RBC) Ltd was part of a team that succeeded in keeping the West London landmark’s priceless artwork intact while ensuring it met fire safety standards.

To preserve The Ivy's exclusive glazed artwork, RBC had to dig into the history books and ensure the world-class restaurant and newly created Club at The Ivy met fire safety standards. The problem was the specially-commissioned art glazing that separated the groundfloor restaurant from the building's beautiful oak staircase. The staircase forms a strategic part of the fire exit plan for the restaurant and club in case of emergency but it was not known if the priceless artwork partition was adequately fire resistant, which meant The Ivy would fail to meet fire regulations.

Colin Jackson, Managing Director of RBC Ltd, said: "Initially we discussed the possibility of upgrading the glazing to meet a 30-minute fire rating but when we learned that it was a specially commissioned and precious art installation we really needed to find another option."

To preserve The Ivy's unique artwork, RBC looked into the history of the building in collaboration with the owners, Caprice Holdings, and found a solution. The team discovered that the partition was constructed as part of The Ivy's redesign in 1992 and the artwork was commissioned by renowned artist Tom Phillips.

He designed the partition using a glazing system called Copperlite or Cupro-Lux fire screens. RBC found that, with only minor modification to the timber surrounds, the partition would meet fire regulations and after liaising with the fire authority was able to accept the artwork glazing without costly modifications.

Andy Kress, Operations Director for Caprice Holdings, said: "We were obviously delighted that RBC found the solution to what could have been a very expensive problem. We have a good relationship with RBC and their expertise and close collaboration is of great value to us."

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