Meet the finalists

Residential Under 10 Storeys
All Finalists2019 Winners

Seacon

Matt Hamilton MCIOB

Capable, professional and collaborative, Matt kept firm control of this high-end refurbishment project. He scoured brickyards for the exact shape, size and shade of hand-made brick that would allow the new brickwork of a rear extension to blend perfectly with the old. And with the works almost finished, he found a way to install a carved solid-stone tub that literally weighed a ton, removing and then reinstalling the just completed bathroom window as he went.

About the Project

6 Ilchester Place, Kensington, London

Contract: JCT 2016/XQ

Value: £6.5m

After several decades working in high-end residential refurbishment, including 15 years crafting purpose-made joinery for the Crown Estate’s exclusive addresses and signature homes, Matt Hamilton is an old hand at solving the unusual construction challenge. On this scheme, that challenge was posed not so much by building a rear extension and basement, nor by restoring the 1920s Lutyensesque facade, but by the client’s desire for a bath of epic proportions.

Matt’s headscratcher was a late instruction to install in the new master bathroom a tub carved from a single slab of stone. It literally weighed a ton. It didn’t just involve additional floor strengthening in an almost-finished house, but also the installation of scaffold, a lifting beam and a temporary works frame bearing back onto the main structure. And with the only possible way of getting the monster in being through the master bathroom window, that also had to be removed and then reinstalled.

The complexities didn’t end – or start – there. Matt had to prop the entire building while the basement was being formed. And matching the new brickwork perfectly to the old had him scouring brickyards for the exact shape, size and shade of hand-made brick.

He carefully managed the design, fabrication and installation of a stone-clad steel staircase from the ground to the second floor. And he methodically progressed an M&E installation made even more challenging by the aesthetic reluctance to relinquish space. He identified service routes through the building that had minimal impact on ceiling levels and room space while creating hidden access points for future maintenance.