Case study

“pick up sticks” fibrous plaster ceiling for a Penthouse apartment in Mayfair

Fibrous plaster ceiling

During the design phase of the contract Jon Elworthy of Tenet Design was inspired by the following image and used it to come up with a ceiling design for the main reception of the Mayfair Penthouse we were doing in 2018.

By the time the final design was settled the concept was quite different from the image, but it is good to remember thought processes, and the way the brain puts a scheme together.

The ceiling concept was soon nicknamed “pick up sticks”, after the popular family game of yesteryear.

We also thought that the stylised Doric column in the image would also be prefect for the final scheme.

Design sketch of pick up sticks fibrous plaster ceiling

Several sketches of the ceiling were produced for the lead technician to work up.

Thought was put into how the weight of the fibrous panels would be supported, and the ceiling edge detail. It was decided that the favoured FB Specialist would turnkey the manufacture of both the “Sticks” ceiling, and the dropped edge detail. The edge detail moulding would be used throughout to flat, where a dropped, lit, ceiling detail was to be utilised.

The support MF ceiling and dropped ceiling section would be constructed by the main contractor Rigby and Rigby.

During the design phase of the contract Jon Elworthy of Tenet Design was inspired by the following image and used it to come up with a ceiling design for the main reception of the Mayfair Penthouse we were doing in 2018.

By the time the final design was settled the concept was quite different from the image, but it is good to remember thought processes, and the way the brain puts a scheme together.

The ceiling concept was soon nicknamed “pick up sticks”, after the popular family game of yesteryear.

We also thought that the stylised Doric column in the image would also be prefect for the final scheme.

Design sketch of pick up sticks fibrous plaster ceiling

Locker and Riley appointed

Tenet Design was of the opinion that there were very few Fibrous Plaster companies capable of producing this technically difficult ceiling.

We believed a lot of time could be wasted in putting this facet of the project out to tender and having to go through the myriad of questions each specialist would come up with. As a result, Tenet put forward Locker and Riley as their “favoured” specialist.

Tenet has worked with them many times, and Jon Riley was used to dealing with some of the more intricate designs Tenet have produced. Our recommendation was accepted, and L & R were appointed at an early stage to work with all parties to achieve the ceiling, at a still sensible price.

L&R took the drawing produced by Tenet, and the first thing they produced was a small (A4) 3D model of the ceiling. This gave the design team the confidence to accept the layout of the ceiling, however the depth of the tapering “sticks” was causing some concern, not only stylistically, but also to a lesser extent, weight-wise

Tenet carried on with the full design of the room producing several visuals to show the client the final design of the ceiling.

Full design visual of ceiling

Visual of full room concept, showing finalised ceiling design

L&R also worked with us to produce the standard drop ceiling raft moulding for the Main Reception, hall and other areas. A sample of this was produced and signed off.

detail of the “raft” edge of ceiling

Tenet Design detail of the “raft” edge.

ceiling constructed in ply to start

It was decided that the ceiling would be constructed in ply to start with so that the depth of the deepest “sticks could be viewed and altered if necessary. This proved to be very sensible, as the depths we had shown on our drawings proved to be rather crude and excessive when viewed full scale.

Jon Elworthy signed off the mock up and it was agreed that a finished section of the panel would be produced.

The sample section of ceiling in the selected platinum/ silver paint finish

The sample section of ceiling in the selected platinum/ silver paint finish

Tenet Design would subsequently use this finished mould to start the process of selecting a metallic paint finish to suit the scheme. In the end 5 sample areas were produced to allow the specialist decorator to try a variety of brush, and spray applied metallic paint finishes.

Below are to images of the full “pre-mould” set up of the ceiling. This is not the final ceiling.

This ceiling was filled and prepped prior to having a rubber mould taken.

full “pre-mould” set up of the ceiling

Once the mould was ready support battens were laid in the mould and the final finish fibrous plaster poured into the mould.

When semi dry the full ceiling was cut into smaller manageable panels, which was then placed in the drying room.

Whilst all this work was being done the main contractor (Rigby and Rigby) was busy constructing the raised and dropped ceiling areas. The MF ceiling was load tested to ensure they would support the great weigh of the FP panels.

The panels were delivered to site and installed immediately, along with the preformed edge moulding detail.

L&R specialists installing and filling the final ceiling.

L&R specialists installing and filling the final ceiling.

Specialist Decorator on the project, attended site

Once the filling and rubbing down was completed, George Barrett the Specialist Decorator on the project, attended site to put on the two coats of brush applied metallic paint. This was completed whilst the area was still a building site, which wasn’t ideal. We had figured this in, as we knew the site would be clear when the ceiling would be rubbed down to remove any dust and the final spray coat applied.

The final ceiling with installed pedant lights

The final ceiling with installed pedant lights, LED perimeter lights and metallic paint finish

The edge detail and the photo inspired column!

The edge detail and the photo inspired column!

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