Westminster Hall, London

Westminster Hall, London

London United Kingdom Westminster Hall House of Parliament The Ethics of Dust Arte Mundit

Westminster Hall was constructed in 1099 for King William II and is one of the oldest parts of Westminster Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hall has a floor area of 1,547 square metres, making it one of the largest unsupported halls of its time.

Reference identification data
Construction project:
Facade restoration Facade restoration / natural stone
Building type:
Historically protected / historically valuable buildings
Churches / cloisters
Short description
Some 200 years’ worth of dirt and soot had accumulated on the internal walls of Westminster Palace. The imposing natural stone walls needed to be cleaned without this causing any damage to the building. In order to ensure that all the scaffolding could be dismantled within six hours to allow important events to go ahead, the project had to be divided up into sections – but the divisions between sections needed to be completely invisible in the end result. In addition, artist Jorge Otero-Pailos planned to use a 50-metre length of the latex skin from the cleaning project in his exhibition “The Ethics of Dust”. This project required close collaboration between the renovators and the artist.
Adam Watrobski
DBR London Ltd
Parliamentary Estate Directorate
Site address:
Date / completion:
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Sample of products or systems used


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Further references

The structure showed cracks in some places, for which there were different causes. Improved statics and higher load capacity were achieved by stiffening the structures, frictional connection of the disturbed foundation and decoupling the components gate, passage hall and gate houses components. Particularly on the western side, intense blackening of the rock surface had built up, which was strongly interlocked with the ground. The deposits were composed of a mixture of soot and plaster. The cleaning process carried out in 1990 with the help of water could only result in a superficial cleaning. In 2002, the newly developed method of particle beam cleaning and cleaning by laser made it possible to remove soot and plaster without destroying the original surface.
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On the façade surfaces of Kaispeicher A, there was a lot of efflorescence and lime aging, both signs of penetrating moisture. The damage patterns indicated a lack of frost resistance as well as no protection against driving rain. The listed façade required extensive frost and moisture protection, but was not allowed to undergo any visual changes.
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