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Dulux Trade Products Transform Churchill's Offices Into Flagship Government Department


The extensive capabilities and technologically-advanced formulations of Dulux Trade products proved essential in the successful £60million transformation of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

The Old Admiralty Building forms the backdrop to the annual Trooping Of The Colour ceremony. Home to Winston Churchill when he was First Lord Of The Admiralty, it is instantly recognisable the world over.

But after being occupied by the Foreign And Commonwealth Office for a number of years, it required an extensive refurbishment to bring it up to today’s standards - and make it fit for purpose for its new occupants - The Department For Education and its 1,600 staff.

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Extensive engagement with Historic England and Westminster Council took place throughout the project to ensure the transformation of the Grade II-listed building was undertaken sensitively and with the use of products that would preserve and enhance its historic fabric.

Dulux Trade Specification Team Andrew Cleaver, Steve Darnell and Anthony Bell worked with our construction partners, Willmott Dixon, and painting contractor Primetone Builders to advise both on the selecting and application of products that were used to transform the interior and exterior of the 23,000 sqm landmark across a range of surfaces including timber, intricate cornicing and masonry.

Primetone Builders Founder Kevin Rabbitte commented:

"Helping to transform such an iconic building was a real privilege and honour.

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I’m immensely grateful for all the support and expertise that Dulux Trade provided on this complex and challenging project.

From initial site visits onwards, their specifiers were critical in helping my team of expert decorators get the very best out of all the products used!

The project also proved a showcase for the strengths of Dulux Trade water-based products, which have a positive environmental impact due to their low level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and contributed positively to maintaining air quality on site throughout the process.

Old Admirality Building 1

Among those used were Dulux Trade Diamond Glaze. Up to ten times tougher than conventional varnishes, it was applied to the building’s historic natural timber staircases.

Intricate cornices and trim were carefully cut in using Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood. Quick-drying, it comes into its own in high-traffic zones, such as corridors, stairways and access areas.

The interior wall and ceiling surfaces benefited from one of the most technologically-advanced products Dulux Trade has produced - Dulux Trade Evolve Matt. The high opacity emulsion is made with 35% recycled paint content - offering a lower carbon footprint than traditional alternatives.

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Meanwhile, Dulux Trade Weathershield Exterior High Gloss System and Dulux Trade All Seasons Smooth Masonry Paint combined to give a high-quality finish to the external elements of the building, while the fungicide they contain also inhibits mould-growth.

Kevin added:

"We were tremendously impressed with the performance of the water-based products that we used on the project.

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They flowed exceptionally well and there were no problems with coverage. The environmental impact of these large projects can be significant, so it was also really welcome that we could keep ours down by using recycled products like Dulux Trade Evolve Matt.

I look forward to collaborating with Dulux Trade using more new product innovations on many more projects in the future."

Steve Darnell, Specification Development Manager South London, Dulux Decorator Centre 360 commented:

"We’re delighted to have used our expertise to support Kevin and his team of expert decorators on this historic project.

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From limiting environmental impact, to maintaining the historic fabric of this iconic building and ensuring an all-round high-quality finish that lasts - there were a host of considerations that went into specifying the products for this project.

Happily, the extensive range of products Dulux Trade offers, combined with its commitment to technological innovation, means we could fulfil this brief and provide the materials to breathe new life into this London landmark."