Monday, 31st October 2016

Luxury development reaches the top

35 Marylebone High Street celebrates topping out

Walter Lilly were recently invited by our Client, W1 London Limited to attend the topping out ceremony of our 35 Marylebone High Street project.

Following a very complex temporary works and demolition sequence and the construction of the new double basement and challenging concrete frame construction the Client and our team were keen to mark the occasion of reaching roof level.

W1 London Limited invited guests to witness the ceremony and their Managing Director David Easson said a few words before handing over to their Chairman and principal funder Sir Peter Wood. Walter Lilly’s Managing Director, Andrew Crispin, gave a quick speech enlightening guests on the history behind the significance of a topping ceremony. The official ‘topping out’ ceremony itself was then conducted, with Senior Project Manager Bob Byrne assisting Sir Peter to trowel in the final bed of concrete into a hole left in the roof slab, before Andrew Crispin presented Sir Peter with an engraved silver trowel to commemorate the occasion.

For Walter Lilly, the tradition of topping out is something we are always keen to preserve. Whilst it formally marks a significant stage in any project, more than anything else it announces and celebrates that someone’s vision has become reality and that a worthwhile job has been well done by everyone involved.

On completion, the project will see a total of 19 apartments and 5 townhouses completed with high-end luxury finishes throughout.

Tuesday, 11th October 2016

Walter Lilly’s Newport Street Gallery wins 2016 Stirling Prize

A Caruso St. John designed project

Walter Lilly are delighted that Newport Street Gallery is the winner of the coveted 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture award. Walter Lilly were responsible for the construction of the gallery, designed by architect Caruso St. John.

RIBA President Jane Duncan  applauded Damian Hirst for creating ‘an exceptional contribution to the UK’s strong history of private patronage of architecture. Not only has Damien opened up his enviable private collection to the world, but he has commissioned a real work of art to house it in.’

Described as ‘a bold and confident contribution to the best of UK architecture’ by the Stirling Prize judges, they went on to say ‘Caruso St. John’s approach to conservation is irreverent yet sensitive and achieves a clever solution that expresses a poetic juxtaposition of old and new.’

‘The collection of buildings is beautifully curated, pulled together by the use of brick yet still expressive of their individuality. The playful use of LED technology gives a temporary addition to the façade.’

‘Internally, the five buildings are connected as a continuous and coherent sequence of light filled gallery spaces. The simple and logical circulation is enlivened by exquisitely detailed and sensuous staircases.’

Damian Hirst said Newport Gallery had ‘realised [his] ambition to create an unobtrusive and beautiful series of buildings that work perfectly as a space to exhibit great art. I am immensely proud of what we achieved and the reaction it has received in its first year of opening,”

Walter Lilly’s unique approach to high quality construction suited the conversion of three listed Victorian industrial buildings and the construction of two new buildings into one gallery space.

News stories of the award here:

BBC News

Evening Standard


The Architects’ Journal

Monday, 1st August 2016

Phase four of science project secured

Walter Lilly again working with large pharmaceutical company

Walter Lilly

Walter Lilly have successfully secured the £7.0 million chemistry research laboratory refurbishment project in Surrey. Our client is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and this is our fourth project for them in as many years.

The project involves the refurbishment and extension to an existing operational laboratory building, including reconfiguration of internal space, new internal suspended flooring, new external glazed screens to extend the usable footprint, phased strip out of existing services installations, new services installations and laboratory furniture.

Major M&E works throughout the phase four project include the re-routing and expansion of existing services to serve the new and existing areas whilst providing future capacity for further phased expansion of the facility.

Works have been programmed to be coordinate around the occupied laboratory facilities and cause minimal disruption to their research programme.

Walter Lilly are delighted to again be working with the project team of Faithful & Gould, Abell Nepp and AECOM.


Thursday, 2nd June 2016

Walter Lilly secures two new country estate projects

Two new country projects in the home counties

Walter Lilly is extending our expertise of high end luxury homes outside of central London after adding two new country estate projects to our portfolio.

Our project in Englefield Green, near Windsor, will see the construction of a four-storey house with a basement and swimming pool wing, a separate guest house, garage building, gate lodge, stables, greenhouse and other ancillary buildings, all within a private country estate. The initial works on this 15 acre property required the demolition of the existing house and ancillary buildings.

The initial tender enquiry for this contract required a large single storey basement 40m x 20m on plan to be constructed in a ‘top down’ sequence. Walter Lilly engineers have developed an alternative and efficient temporary propping scheme enabling traditional ‘bottom up’ construction of the reinforced concrete basement structure, saving valuable programme time for our client as well as significant cost.

The project is programmed to be complete late 2017.

Hoddington Estate, near Basingstoke, is an 850 acre estate with an existing house, game keepers lodge and various out buildings and agricultural barns. In January 2016, Walter Lilly secured the first phase of this project which saw the demolition of an existing barn for the construction of a brand new shoot barn complex incorporating estate offices, horse stables, game larders and courtyard to accommodate estate maintenance equipment.

This project is programmed to be complete late 2016.

In mid-2015, Walter Lilly completed a circa £7m million contract to construct a new 1,643m2 country home in Burnham Beeches. A statement in itself, and designed by Quinlan and Francis Terry Architect in natural stone, this country house includes a large basement, additional attic accommodation, external swimming pool and substantial landscaping.

Thursday, 2nd June 2016

Belgravia becomes a busy area for Walter Lilly

Three new Central London projects to add to our portfolio within the last 12 months

The SW1 area has recently become Walter Lilly’s focal construction location with three new projects added to our portfolio.

Our Wilton Crescent project commenced in mid-2015 and involves the demolition and reconstruction of rear mews building and link building and the excavation under the rear garden using a top down construction method to create a basement extension. The works also include the full refurbishment of the main house, including an extension to the rear lower ground, ground and first floor levels, as well as the creation of a terrace at the first floor level. This extension and refurbishment project will also require the installation of a new plant room.

Works at another project at Belgrave Square commenced in early 2015 and is for the redevelopment of an existing Grade I listed property and mews house into a single dwelling including a new basement extension linking the two properties. The works at this property also includes the demolition reconstruction of the existing mews building, a brand new swimming pool hall in the basement extension and a new roof garden between the two buildings. The project is due to be completed in late 2017.

Upper Belgrave Street is a recent contract which Walter Lilly secured through a two-stage tender process in early 2016. A Grade II* listed end of terrace property, the works involve the redevelopment and refurbishment of the existing building into a six-storey private residential luxury home. Walter Lilly was initially contracted to carry out only the strip-out works to the property in 2015 and we are pleased to have been recently awarded the contract for the full refurbishment.

Monday, 4th April 2016

Walter Lilly feature in Construction and Civil Engineering Magazine

Walter Lilly's Chief Engineer takes CCE Magazine through the complexities of our projects

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.

Read the full article here.

Monday, 23rd November 2015

Progress at Belgravia

Demolition is now complete on site

Demolitions are now complete for our project in Belgravia. The scheme involves a new basement with a new steel frame Mews structure over to be complete using top down construction.

Temporary works are in place to retain the mews façade and provide stability to neighbouring structures. Underpinning is ongoing on site to make way for the new basement. Underpins are up to 6m deep and are being cast in one hit by GSS Piling. Structural engineers Heyne Tillet Steel.

Wednesday, 19th March 2014

Considerate Constructors Scheme

We receive high praise from CCS at our residential projects in Mayfair

Walter Lilly’s latest site visit by the Considerate Constructors Scheme has awarded one of our residential projects in Mayfair an outstanding score of 41 and a Certificate Beyond Compliance.

Whilst a number of our projects regularly receive Performance Beyond Compliance certificates, we have, following this visit, received our first score of 9 with the Scheme.

We achieved four scores of 8 in Care about Appearance, Protect the Environment, Secure Everyone’s Safety and Value their Workforce respectively.  We are delighted to have been awarded a score of 9 in Respect the Community.  A fantastic achievement for Walter Lilly and it’s site team.

Our score of 9 is rated by the Scheme as ‘Exceptional’ – The site is at the forefront of industry best practice demonstrating the very highest level of achievement far above the minimum standards required by the Scheme’s Code and has addressed all questions on the checklist to the highest standards.

All of Walter Lilly’s sites are registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme at commencement, and more details with regard to this can be found via their website homepage, on the following link;

Thursday, 20th February 2014

Fresh Look Site Hoarding

We have started to update our site hoardings and the first one was erected this week on one of our private residence projects in Chelsea.

We think it looks great and big thank you to the team at Creativeworks for the design and to all at Gidden Place for the execution.

Site Hoarding 1

Monday, 2nd December 2013

Topping Out in Knightsbridge

It’s always a treat when everything good comes together in one moment. That’s how starting my first week at Walter Lilly felt like last week. The friendliness is the most immediately striking thing. Once the pleasantries are done then it’s down to work and that’s where Walter Lilly really comes into its own. The knowledge, the skill, the passion and the desire to do outstanding work for the client make for a dedicated working atmosphere totally focussed on getting the job done to stellar standards.

The highlight of last week was attending a topping out ceremony in Knightsbridge. This was another example of good things coming together. To mark the occasion of the building project reaching the top of the building the client’s family were invited to lay an inscribed stone on the roof of the building in the presence of Tim Flynn Architects and the Walter Lilly site and head office teams. The mortar was expertly spread by the client’s young children and the stone laid by the husband and wife – before Andrew Crispin presented them with a silver engraved trowel.

Presentation of Silver Trowel

Andrew went on to say some compelling words on Topping Out which summed up the occasion eloquently and succinctly:

Topping Out

The familiar ceremony of ‘topping out’ is a modernised version of a very ancient pagan rite.  Although its origin is shrouded in the mists of antiquity, topping out was practiced by Asian civilisations of 7,000 years ago and possibly even earlier still.

In ancient times, the occasion of ‘topping out’ marked the moment when a new building was ready to furnish or occupy.  In its transfer to Britain, ‘topping out’ has more traditionally become a ceremony to mark the moment when a building is roofed-in; when the masons and carpenters have finished their works and the joiners, plasterers and painters take over.

Historically, the ceremony involved the fixing or planting of a tree to the highest part of the building. This was followed by the sprinkling of elements – wine for fertility and wisdom; oil for liberty and prosperity; corn to cause prosperity to ripen into abundance and salt to preserve purity and hospitality.  Finally, a sacrifice would be made to the gods, to encourage them to dwell in the house and bring it to life.

Thankfully, the modern British version of the custom no longer requires a sacrifice.  The tree is replaced by a Union Jack flag and a barrel of beer has been substituted for the sacrifice and the elements.

The principal guest will traditionally be invited to perform the ceremony of ‘topping out’, symbolised by some final part of the structure, or a commemorative plaque or stone, being placed in position supervised by the project’s general foreman.  The general foreman will then present members of the project team and senior workmen to the principal guest and the proceedings are concluded with refreshments.

This is an ancient tradition which we at Walter Lilly are always keen to preserve as for us, more than anything else, it announces the fact that someone’s vision has become reality and that a worthwhile job has been well done.”


Having visited more Walter Lilly sites in central London and Wentworth more recently I am very happy to report there will be plenty more good things to share with you on this newsfeed over the coming years – and thank you for my warm welcome to Walter Lilly!

Rupert Kenyon, Head of Marketing

Latest News