Assembly Rooms Refurbishment

The Building 

The Assembly Rooms on George Street in the heart of Edinburgh were originally opened in January 1787, with extensions being added over the next 100 years. The building was completed to its current form in 1907.

The Project

Over a period of 18 months, the building has been completely refurbished under main contractor, Balfour Beatty. The project objective was to celebrate the heritage of the venue whilst integrating contemporary infrastructure throughout. Two retail areas have been created on the ground floor, and the original ‘Supper Room’ has been turned into a restaurant. The principal rooms on the 1st floor have been refurbished.

Project Outline

The contract was awarded to Balfour Beatty (Scottish and Southern) Limited, with David Fisher & Sons winning the sub-contract for the specialist plasterwork by competitive tender. Our element of the works started in August 2011.

Scope of Works

Working closely with the main contractor and the architect, David Fisher & Sons executed fibrous plaster works, in-situ works, restoration work, lime plaster work and lath and plaster work throughout the building. Working both above and below the coffered domed ceiling in the Music Hall, restoration works took some 6 months. 25m of new cornice was installed around a new control room opposite the stage Lath and 3 coats lime plaster were applied to water damaged ceilings in the East and West Drawing rooms, and a ceiling feature was run in-situ using lime plaster prior to enrichments being applied. In the ballroom, moulds were taken in-situ using alginate to maintain the historical integrity of the room. Restoration works from above and below the ceiling were executed. Water damage in the Crush Hall required the dome to be replaced. Photographs were taken and numbered to ensure the ‘ladies’ went back in the correct place and order. Following a new concrete floor being installed above the Supper Room, restoration of the decorative ceiling was executed using lime plaster and stucco embellishments.

Our element of the works was completed on 16 June, with handover due to take place by mid July.