From Grade I listed buildings to blue plaques: Unique architectural metalwork!

Building & Construction Review wants to showcase Leander Architectural; who have demonstrated Commitment to Excellence through its’ bespoke, expertly designed, architectural metalwork.

If you’ve ever glanced up at one of the many blue heritage plaques around the country, citing the fascinating relationship between famous writers, war poets or singers and buildings, there’s a high chance it was manufactured by skilled artisan: Leander Architectural. From Victorian bandstand refurbishments, topographical maps with braille to rural fingerpost signage, these first-class manufacturing standards are all hallmarks of Leander Architectural.

Leander Architectural are design & manufacturer extraordinaries of tailor-made structures, signage, bandstands, railway columns, gazebos, street furniture, wayfinding signs with a heritage restoration consultancy. The niche services offered are an eclectic mix, of blacksmithing, iron restoration, clay sculpting, decorative and structural iron, steel and non-ferrous fabrication, metal casting – for commercial trade and private customers alike.

The Royal Label Factory was established in 1874. Originally commissioned to manufacture labels for the gardens of Queen Victoria, it ultimately evolved into one of Great Britain’s foremost street signage manufacturers. Leander Architectural was established in 1986 and in 1998 the two businesses merged, bringing together a wealth of technical and historical expertise. From its foundry and workshops in Dove Holes, near Buxton, Derbyshire, the Company continues to offer outstanding contemporary and heritage metalwork solutions, using its trademark aluminium, steel, bronze and iron materials.

Though modern innovation has brought in waterjet cutting and computerised graphics, many of the traditional artisan crafts such as clay hand-carving are still skilfully utilised, adding timeless decorative finishing touches to both new build and restorative heritage work. We chatted to Managing Director, Gareth Roberts to find out more about this unique company,

“We specialise in bespoke metal work throughout the UK and further afield, having also completed projects across Europe and even the Caribbean. We are proud to say that all of our raw materials are 100% British, supporting our local and national economy. Our foundry uses recycled aluminium to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible.

Although we have an extensive portfolio of casting patterns and designs for bandstands, structures, columns and many other products, we are always happy to offer our expert, personalised consultation services for new ventures too.

We recently assisted with the repair of a busy Victorian era mainline railway station. The rivetted iron roof structure was still in tremendously good condition, but several of the cast iron columns were cracked and needed replacement, due to ground subsidence. Working with the primary rail civil engineering contractor, we were able to provide a “black box” design solution. The damaged cast iron columns were removed and the new ones installed without removing the roof, whilst also complying with stringent construction standards. If you were to look up, you wouldn’t notice or detect the repairs: a sign of true architectural metalwork craftmanship, with modern and traditional materials blending seamlessly together. We were able to carry out the installation work, smoothly and efficiently, allowing the busy commuter station to carry-on ferrying passengers to work without significant disruption.”

One recent high-profile project that the Leander team undertook was the installation of new canopies at the luxury five-star Savill Court Hotel in Windsor. The work was carried out proceeding the prestigious meeting between the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP and the EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen at the hotel, and is a source of great pride to the business

The artisan architectural metalwork is of such exceptional high-quality, that Leander Architectural often receive repeat custom from all over the country. The Derbyshire-based experts have been making cast signs for several prestigious organisations for many decades, demonstrating trusted, valued, skilled workmanship.

In 2020, Leander Architectural carried out the fine intricate metalwork and artefact restoration for the stunning Georgian-period Buxton Crescent Luxury Spa Hotel: a beautiful Grade I listed building. The extensive work included: replicating and rebuilding of the staircase balustrading in 8 stairwells, and delicate sympathetic adaption of handrails to modern standards. Restoration work always has to tread the fine line between restoring historical buildings to their former glory, whilst complying with current building regulations! For Leander Architectural there is no paradox: just the perfect opportunity for the skilled engineers to demonstrate their expertise.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the company did some quick-thinking as Gareth explains,

“Lockdown was difficult for us, as it was for many manufacturing companies around the UK. Luckily, the team had access to laptops, so many staff were able to work remotely. Although most Civic Trusts and the like paused ordering blue plaques, we received orders from new, previously unexplored sectors. Many hospitality businesses took the opportunity to focus on refitting and refurbishment, which is where we came in. High-end bars, hotels and exclusive restaurants wanted bespoke interior decorative fittings or exterior gazebos and canopies.

We are steadily, organically growing, as many of our projects are technically challenging orders, requiring time and meticulous attention to detail. One recent high profile commission was for the manufacture and installation of decorative metalwork within the new ‘Sprague Terrace’ between the Sondheim and Gielgud Theatres in London’s West-End. Not only did this project need to look fantastic, but we also had to overcome significant design challenges to enable the metalwork to be transported through an operational luxury theatre.”

Leander Architectural has been investing in recruitment, safeguarding the future of the company through trainee apprentices and graduate employment. The company has recently taken on foundry apprentice and engineering graduates and is looking to take on more; helping to safeguard essential manufacturing skills.

Gareth was delighted to be acknowledged by Building & Facilities News for its steadfast Commitment to Excellence,

“We want to exceed our customers’ expectations. For 99% of customers, appearance is everything: if it looks right, it is right. We have the historical pedigree to offer unparalleled expertise on a full-range of bespoke metalwork across contemporary architecture and heritage designs.”

To find out more, please see the details below:

T 01298 814941