Mount Stewart House, Co. Down, Northern Ireland

Structural Designer

Mann Williams

Client Name

National Trust

Location

Portaferry Rd, Newtownards, Northern Ireland

ARCHITECTS

Elphick Associates

PROJECT MANAGERS

RNJ Partnership LLP

M&E ENGINEERS

Bennett Robertson Design

MAIN CONTRACTORS

H&J Martin Limited

REMEDIAL MASONRY STITCHING REPAIRS

Stronghold Preservation

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This fine 19th century house was in need of a thorough overhaul. Significant structural problems included the eight metre span of the first floor joists, the sag in the gallery round the octagonal hall, and partial failure of a large timber truss. 

Mann Williams devised an ingenious method of strengthening the first floor by inserting trussed noggins between the joists. The gallery was pushed gently up to its original level and strengthened to keep it there. The truss was repaired by the addition of some small steel plates.  All this work was carried out without damaging fragile wall coverings.


 

Judge's comment:

Although it might seem obvious that a Heritage project should embody many of the principles of sustainability, few can claim to have designed the interventions necessary for the required upgrading with such attention to the preservation of the original concepts whilst taking advantage of modern developments as this one. Particularly impressive is the way in which real understanding of the structural requirements and the extent to which increased performance was needed has been used to ensure that the interventions in the various timber and masonry components have been kept to a minimum.