1 Palace Street London GRP cupola with copper cladding

Main Contractor:

Balfour Beatty / South Eastern Carpentry


Squire and Partners

Project Duration:

6 months


roof cladding

towers & turrets

grp materials


Project Information:

GRP is used extensively in the construction industry typically to provide prefinished panels that are lightweight yet strong. Some projects however require a combination of GRP construction benefits and a handcrafted metal appearance, in this case copper cladding to a new 4m dia GRP cupola, and this is where GRP as a substrate provides a very capable lightweight solution.

It had been recognised the intended corner roof location of the cupola presented site access challenges for the copper cladding contractor including a particularly restricted zone where it sailed close to the mansard room and a call was made to D&D.

In collaboration with SEC, D&D pulled together a proposal that involved constructing a sturdy hollow GRP substructure of modular double curved repeating parts capable of being factory preassembled and copper clad complete with a perimeter gutter and finial by A Class before being transported as a wide load and lifted in one movement to roof level.

D&D liaised closely with site to ensure the suitability of proposed steel ring beams and plinths before stone cornice sections were installed around the base.

Lifting the complete 4m dia x 3.8m tall cupola from lorry bed to roof level proceeded without a hitch due to D&D’s carefully planned risk and method statement and D&D completed the installation works to desired line and level as it landed safely in place.

A bespoke cradle frame was designed, engineered and procured to facilitate the preassembly, shipping and lifting phases. Each GRP section incorporated additional strategically
fixing timber points to receive copper cladding nails and GRP flanges were suitably reinforced with laser cut metal plates. Once all GRP sections assembled internal cross bracing completed the final structure.

For assistance with your project contact Allan Curtis 07718 320184

Project background

A spectacular Grade II listed building opposite Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s Gallery. The redevelopment will include 72 apartments, underground parking, communal courtyard garden, restaurant, extensive leisure facilities and full concierge service. The work being undertaken also involves an elegant new contemporary facade facing onto Palace Street designed with award winning Squire and Partners. The restoration and remodelling of the various facades in Italian and French Renaissance, Beaux Arts and Queen Anne styles.