ISG Awarded Heritage RAF Control Tower Refurbishment Scheme
ISG is to restore a derelict Grade II listed RAF control tower to its former glory in a £1.5 million refurbishment and extension project for developer, Liberty Property Trust UK.
Originally built in the 1930s in the distinctive Art Deco style, the Kings Hill Control Tower near Maidstone played a key role in RAF operations during World War II and has remained a local landmark ever since. Sitting at the heart of the mixed-use, sustainable development, the building will now be respectfully refurbished to accommodate a flexible multi-use space for a variety of public-oriented cultural and community uses, a Costa coffee shop and office space to the upper levels.
ISG will be responsible for a complete strip out of the two storey structure, including reconfiguration of the internal walls. The building will be restored to its original condition with refurbishment of all windows and balustrading, repairs to the masonry and concrete façade and removal of exterior finishes prior to re-painting in its original white colour.
In addition to restoring the historic building, the project will also see ISG construct two single storey extensions on either side of the control tower, each of which will have a footprint of approximately 70m2. One of these extensions, together with the whole of the ground floor of the original building, will become the new coffee shop. The other extension will provide space for shows and exhibitions as well as an area set aside for memorabilia and artworks commemorating the former airfield. Once the structural work has been completed, ISG will also be responsible for fitting out the office accommodation and the project space, including installation of new mechanical and electrical services.
In a related but separate contract, ISG will also construct a replacement public WC, following the demolition of an existing block, close to the RAF control tower. The £200K scheme will see the contractor build the facility on a new site within Liberty Square, with the art deco inspired building designed to complement the architecture of the renovated Control Tower.
Andrew Blevins, managing director of Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd, commented: “This is such an important, historic building and we have taken a great deal of advice in planning the most appropriate use for it. As a living, busy, focal point of the former airfield, we wanted to retain that character and not put it in aspic by turning it into a museum. Kings Hillians will be able to enjoy a cup of coffee in beautifully restored, historic surroundings and relax in the new gardens, and I am sure the new office space will prove very popular.”
ISG’s Ian Gifford, managing director - South East, commented: “This project is set to open an exciting new chapter in the development of this iconic and historically important regional building. The preservation of the control tower as a permanent memorial to the brave endeavours of the RAF during the war is a fitting postscript for the building and we are confident that it will become a popular educational and community resource.”
Nick Hann; Tel: 07970 275251; Email:
ISG Plc is an international construction services company delivering fit out, construction and a range of specialist services, with 31 offices worldwide. The company works with owners, developers and occupiers in the public and private sector for an extensive range of industries. ISG Plc was established in 1989 and has been quoted on AIM since 1998. Today the company has a turnover of around £1.2 billion.
For further information about ISG please visit our website www.isgplc.com