Constructed over two years and completed in 1970 the Cardinal Tower in Leicester was commissioned then by what most UK residents new as the GPO or General Post Office and became Leicester’s first skyscraper.
Back in the 1970’s mobile phones were unheard of and landlines and public telephone boxes were located on most city street corners.
Designed by London Architects Lewis, Solomon & Joseph this brutalist style collection of buildings rose above the Leicester skyline to create its tallest building reaching the heady height of 84M and creating 17 floors dedicated to telephone exchange and 2 floors for plant and equipment.
Designed out of the need to centralise international calls to Cardinal Tower handled all international calls for the country, relaying them on to business and the domestic user.
Since privatisation and its eventual separation, the building is currently owned by BT and with the growth in mobile phone access since the 2000’s and the increase in the power of the microchip the building to some extent has seen it become used and adapted by other tenants as the world of electronics has become miniaturised.
Since its construction the Cardinal Tower has been subjected to the best of British weather from sweltering summers of 1976 to freezing winters all taking their toll of the prefabricated aggregate panel structure which is now in need of some needed TLC.
Makers have been appointed to bring back the tower to its former glory and this is no mean feat being 280ft above the ground where the weather and wind tends to get a little excitable.
The Tower will undergo a series of repairs to the panels and then receive protective coatings that will see the concrete fabric protected for the next 20 years.
Close to 23 miles of mastic sealant will be applied to keep the structure water tight and all the aluminium window frames cleaned and inspected.
A project this size will need a combination of access methods to ensure project flexibility but the view from the top is quite spectacular!
The product range chosen by the client will be supplied by Sika from their Monotop and Sikagard range of products and the project is expected to take around 27 weeks to complete.