If you’ve ever glanced up at one of the many blue heritage plaques around the country, citing the fascinating relationship between famous writers, war poets or singers and buildings, there’s a high chance it was manufactured by skilled artisan: Leander Architectural.
Leander Architectural are design & manufacturer extraordinaries of tailor-made structures, signage, bandstands, railway columns, gazebos, street furniture, wayfinding signs with a heritage restoration consultancy. The niche services offered are an eclectic mix, of blacksmithing, iron restoration, clay sculpting, decorative and structural iron, steel and non-ferrous fabrication, metal casting – for commercial trade and private customers alike.
Leander Architectural was established in 1986 and in 1998 merged with The Royal Label Factory, bringing together a wealth of technical and historical expertise. We chatted to Managing Director, Gareth Roberts, to find out more about this unique company,
“We work throughout the UK as well as in Europe and the Caribbean. All of our raw materials are 100% British, supporting our local and national economy. Our foundry uses recycled aluminium to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible.
“Our extensive portfolio includes casting patterns and designs for bandstands, structures, columns and many other products, and we are always happy to offer our expert, personalised consultation services for new ventures too.
“We recently assisted with the repair of a busy Victorian era mainline railway station. The riveted iron roof structure was still in tremendously good condition, but several of the cast iron columns were cracked and needed replacement, due to ground subsidence. Working with the primary rail civil engineering contractor, we were able to provide a ‘black box’ design solution. The damaged cast iron columns were removed and the new ones installed without removing the roof, while also complying with stringent construction standards.”
In 2020, Leander Architectural carried out the fine intricate metalwork and artefact restoration for the stunning Georgian-period Buxton Crescent Luxury Spa Hotel: a beautiful Grade I listed building. The extensive work included: replicating and rebuilding of the staircase balustrading in 8 stairwells, and delicate sympathetic adaption of handrails to modern standards. Restoration work always has to tread the fine line between restoring historical buildings to their former glory, while complying with current building regulations! For Leander Architectural there is no paradox: just the perfect opportunity for the skilled engineers to demonstrate their expertise.
Leander is always pushing forward as Gareth explains, “We are steadily, organically growing, as many of our projects are technically challenging orders, requiring time and meticulous attention to detail. One recent high profile commission was for the manufacture and installation of decorative metalwork within the new ‘Sprague Terrace’ between the Sondheim and Gielgud Theatres in London’s West End. Not only did this project need to look fantastic, but we also had to overcome significant design challenges to enable the metalwork to be transported through an operational luxury theatre.”
Leander Architectural has been investing in recruitment, safeguarding the future of the company through trainee apprentices and graduate employment. The company has recently taken on foundry apprentice and engineering graduates and is looking to take on more; helping to safeguard essential manufacturing skills.