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DULUX TRADE Makes An Impression At St Andrew’s Cathedral

The interior of St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow has been dramatically transformed using a beautiful array of Dulux Trade shades. A bespoke colour scheme was produced for the striking cathedral, as part of a wider £4.5 million refurbishment project in preparation for its 200th anniversary.

As the building had not been completely renovated since the 19th century, the Archbishop of Glasgow, Most Rev. Mario J. Conti, decided that the cathedral was long in need of major refurbishment. As such, the radical restoration included the redecoration of the interior walls, as well as the completion of new heating and lighting systems, the installation of newly commissioned bronze doors, roof repairs, under floor heating and new seating.

To transform the interior, specialist painters, Dumbreck Decorators, were appointed to sympathetically restore the building to its former glory using a colour scheme developed by Page\Park Architects. Justin Fenton from Page\Park Architects, comments: “The Archbishop presented a challenging brief, to use a colour scheme that gave the space a contemporary and fresh feel, yet remained sympathetic to the original building and complemented the historic attributes of the cathedral.

“Our aim was therefore to create a delicate design that emphasised the intricate detail of the building. So, we used a backdrop of warm neutrals for the walls and ceiling, including Subtle Ivory, to ensure the interior remained bright and airy and contrasted this with a variety of strong regal colours to highlight key features.

“The inspiration for the colour scheme came from the existing features and architecture of the building. We then used Dulux Trade colour resources, such as the fan deck and colour guides, to identify specific hues that would complement such a dramatic space.”

Dulux Trade offers a wealth of colour services to the architect and interior design community. This includes free digital resources such as the Dulux Trade Digital Colour Palette tool, which plugs in to existing design software packages such as Photoshop, Autocad, Architcad and Sketchup, to eliminate complicated colour conversions between the design and specification stages, and further support the drive for colour accuracy. What’s more, via the Dulux Trade website, specifiers can easily check which products in the Dulux Trade range are available in any particular colour.

Brendan Keenan, of Glasgow’s Dumbreck Decorators and current president of the Scottish Decorators Federation, said: “To create a striking stone effect, specialist painting techniques, including trompe l’oeil, were used to transform the fourteen soaring pillars and arches. The pillars were then decorated with ribbons of blue and gold shades to accentuate their stature. In addition, over 3500 books of gold leaf were used to pick out embellishments on the ceilings and draw light to the church’s exquisite gothic architecture. The ribbons and gilding were carried out by an associate, Scott Telfer of CST Signs who has worked with us on many previous projects.”

The decorative plaster ceilings were gilded and painted to bring out previously unseen design details, dating back to when the cathedral was first built. Brendan explains: “Biblical designs, which were previously hidden under layers of grey paint, have been restored and we used various shades to highlight the intricate detail, including golds, blues, reds and greens to replicate the colours of the original 19th century stained glass windows.”

As a Dulux Trade Contract Partner, Dumbreck Decorators is independently assessed for quality of workmanship and business professionalism, providing assurance to the client that the job would be completed to an extremely high standard.

In order to ensure a hard-wearing finish, the colours were selected in Dulux Trade Diamond Matt, as besides the extensive range of shades available in the range, it also has excellent durability properties. Kevin Moran, Property Services Manager at the Archdiocese of Glasgow, says: “As one of Scotland's most prominent Catholic buildings, the cathedral receives around 300 visitors a day, so it was important that the interior remains looking spectacular for as long as possible.”

Commenting on the impressive finish, Monsignor Chris McElroy, administrator at the cathedral, said: “The renovated building looks magnificent. Parishioners and visitors have been overwhelmed by the grand finish, and when they enter the cathedral their gaze is inevitably drawn to the exquisite paint work that has enhanced the cathedral’s impressive detail.”

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