Of the highest standard
Operating in a niche where nothing short of perfection is expected, Walter Lilly’s position at the top of the super elite residential construction industry is the result of decades of experience overcoming the most complex and demanding challenges
Founded in 1924 when Walter Gent Lilly won the freehold to a builder’s yard near Westminster over a game of cards, the eponymous construction company has grown to become one of the leading builders in the UK’s super prime residential market. Often to be found working across some of London and the Home County’s most elite and sought after districts, including Belgravia, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Berkshire and Surrey, Walter Lilly has delivered a host of prestigious and high profile projects over the years.
Working closely with some of the world’s leading architects and designers, the company has proven its ability to deliver everything from classical opulence to the very latest in contemporary and innovative design. In addition to the super prime residential projects, ranging in value from three quarters of a million pounds to £40 million, Walter Lilly has also completed construction and renovation works on Southwark Cathedral, The Wolfson Wing at Kew Gardens, Chiswick House Conservatory, Café Royal, Cadogan Hall and many other iconic and listed sites.
“We are considered to be the foremost contractor of choice for high end residential building in Central London,” begins Chief Engineer, Derek Brattle. “This is founded upon an enviable reputation for delivering projects requiring the combined expertise of both complex structural engineering refurbishment works, together with top quality interior fit out.” Experienced, highly skilled and well-trained staff are central to maintaining the strength of this reputation, as is its commitment to the highest quality, which considering its market, can’t fall far short of perfection.
Blended with extensively detailed project management right the way through the construction process, the foundation of expertise within the company results in a highly capable builder with the ability to overcome numerous construction, engineering and logistical challenges.
At present Walter Lilly is demonstrating its unrivalled services, in the borough of Westminster with a major redevelopment project on Marylebone High Street. Currently a year into its programme the scheme has involved the demolition of an existing 1960’s building to the rear of the site, together with the demolition and extensive temporary façade retention works to the front. When completed a six-storey superstructure and new double basement area will provide 19 apartments and five townhouses, as well as additional retail space.
“This is a large project requiring significant engineering works in close co-operation with our project design team and subcontractors,” explains Derek. “It includes the installation of a perimeter steel sheet pile cofferdam and associated temporary propping for the basement excavation extending within the ground water table; temporary façade and party wall retention structures; underpinning of the perimeter party walls and load transfer of the façade support columns onto the new RC raft foundation. The new RC frame is currently progressing, whilst we manage the decommissioning and relocation of an electrical substation serving surrounding properties.”
Another complex and on-going project being carried out can be found on the prestigious Eaton Square in the heart of Belgravia. Set in a Conservation Area towards the Western boundary of Westminster and bordered by Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Buckingham Palace, Pimlico and Hyde Park, the square dates back to the 1830s and is considered to be one of the finest residential addresses in London. Work on the Grade II listed property involves the amalgamation of two separate apartments into one single-family dwelling; a new three-storey extension across the rear, and the construction of a new deep basement below the courtyard garden.
“In total the proposals provide five levels of high end residential accommodation comprising of four en-suite bedrooms, several large reception rooms, staff accommodation, catering facilities and a pool hall at basement level with swimming pool, Jacuzzi and treatment room,” Derek outlines. “As specialists in temporary works design and engineering, Walter Lilly were engaged to carry out this complex 102-week development over two phases.
“Phase one has involved major engineering challenges including: the construction of the underground double basement containing the pool and associated plant room below a shared garden; the installation of a new reinforced concrete frame to the rear elevation to form five room-sized openings over three levels, without disturbing the residences above; and finally, the extensive floor strengthening and re-modelling of the internal space. Particular expertise was required in planning the sequence and method of works to ensure ground movement and disturbance was kept to a minimum for the surrounding six-storey buildings. All this was done whilst the property’s neighbours living in the three floors above the works, as well as those in the surrounding properties, remained in place throughout.”
A third project to note, involving the full refurbishment of a detached residence at Sheffield Terrace, received bespoke, high quality finishes including stone and timber staircases and a new conservatory. “Whilst the general shape of the new building was not significantly different from the existing, it was rebuilt with new floors, room layouts and the entire roof replaced,” highlights Derek. “Furthermore, the road on which the residence is situated is a typically narrow, busy residential road that provided significant logistical challenges.”
It is not just this relentless competence to overcome complex engineering and logistical challenges that sets Walter Lilly apart in the market, but also its ability to do so in the confines of such a highly exclusive and quality demanding niche. A long history delivering to such standards has afforded the firm with this leading position and in continuing to do so looks set to secure its position at the top, well into the future.
Walter Lilly & Co Ltd
Services: Industry leaders in the design, build and renovation of luxury properties