Industrial buildings

Nov 25th, 2010 | | Industrial buildings | No Comments

Metropolitan Wharf, London

Patrick Baty advised on the decoration of the exterior of this Thameside warehouse - Metropolitan Wharf

This photograph was taken in 2006, when Patrick was consulted

Metropolitan Wharf is a significant 6-storey, Grade II Listed, purpose built Victorian riverside warehouse and comprises 4 buildings, built between 1862 and 1898. Metropolitan Wharf sits as one of Wapping’s most impressive collection of wharf buildings along Wapping Wall.

I am frequently employed by developers who are keen to use the right colour in order to convey a particular message. Here I was asked to advise on suitable paint colours for the exterior of this Victorian warehouse.

Basing my thoughts on a mid-19th century set of specifications for the treatment of such buildings I recommended a number of dark red-brown colours: Venetian red; Deep Indian red; Maroon or Purple brown. All of these were used for such purposes in the 19th and early 20th centuries, being durable, lightfast and economical. When applied in a good quality gloss paint (as would once have been employed) this type of colour can look both distinguished and appropriate. Sadly my advice was ignored as shown below:

The utterly unmemorable dark grey colour selected by the developer. In a ‘stylish’, but short-lived eggshell finish, which is far from ideal on a riverside building.

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