Client: Luton Borough Council
Programme: 44 weeks
Contract: JCT 2011 Intermediate
Description: Heritage Conservation and Restoration of a Public Building
Grade 2 listed Wardown House, the home of Wardown Park Museum, was originally designed in 1872 as a private residence and became a museum in 1931.
New areas of the building have been opened up and the ground floor improved and furnished to give visitors an insight into a wealthy family home during the Victorian period. Rooms now open include the Billiard Room, Smoking Room, Library and kitchen. The Morning Room is now an art gallery as well as a wedding and exhibition venue and a new café has been created with access to the park.
The project was undertaken whilst the rest of the park remained open to the public. Works included new lift, mechanical and electrical installations, WC accommodation, kitchen fit-out and equipment, damp proofing, decorations and external works. A specialist was engaged to securely recycle 1600kg of dead filed papers uncovered in a loft space to the ‘Coach House’ building rather than sending to waste disposal.
The discovery of bats at roof level put a stop to external works for 4 months while a licensed ecologist undertook a thorough inspection and study. After receiving the all clear, careful re-sequencing of these works resulted in no detrimental effect to the original works programme.