Project Description

The key to authenticity when replicating historic construction methods or styles, is care and attention to detail.


Borough Yards

GRCA Full member Telling Architectural Ltd demonstrated how innovative 21st Century Modern Methods of Construction can be used to replicate 19th Century, Victorian inspired architecture.

Following a devastating fire in 2021 the operations of the company were bought by Ibstock plc to launch Ibstock Telling GRC Limited operation with the new ‘Futures’ division. The key to authenticity when replicating historic construction methods or styles, is care and attention to detail. Get it wrong and at best you create a poor pastiche of a bygone era.



Client: MB Bermondsey Ltd
Contractor: Wates Construction
Installer: Lesterose
Engineer: Evolve
Architects: SPPARC Architecture
Scope of work: 776m2 Brick Faced GRC Grade 18P

This was the challenge presented to Telling Architectural that required them to develop further the techniques they have already established and utilised in the design and manufacture of brick faced GRC, to create convincing complex 3D forms.

This project identifies heavily and sympathetically with its Victorian past. Brick railway arches have been re-purposed to integrate with the facades of retained warehouses in addition to new contemporary architecture that is weaved in amongst connecting pedestrianised yard spaces that creates a refined reimagining of a bygone age.

Ibstock Telling GRC continue to innovate and develop the capabilities of Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete.

The addition of real brick facings provides the Architect/Specifier with a whole new range of possibilities that they can consider as a means to achieve their creative goals. There is a huge demand for the skills of a brick mason that can replicate the standard of detail and workmanship specific to this project.

Unfortunately, as a result of an ageing workforce and low intake of new tradespeople, they are in short supply and come at a premium. The construction industry has had to evolve and adapt to find a solution to this problem, in addition to having to rethink its approach about the way we build. All these issues can be addressed and remedied by introducing off-site/premanufactured innovations that remove key elements off the critical path and in so doing deliver sustainable solutions in an ontime/ just-in time basis.

In most circumstances the go to solution would be to utilise traditional precast concrete, however using Brick Faced GRC provides significant savings in weight and use of raw material, which in turn can lead to further added benefits in both the extent of groundworks and design of the structural frame.

For Borough Yards London project, the challenge to fabricate masonry elements that include intricate features such as faceted columns utilising cant bricks, splayed sawtooth pattern beams with brick soffit returns, the term masonry cladding falls short in identifying what has been achieved on this project – this is façade engineering of an exceptional standard.

Proof idd of the opportunities Brick Faced GRC provides, not just for contemporary architectural stys, but also as a means to maintain and preserve a part of London’s Victorian Heritage.

This £300 million project nestled between iconic 21st century London landmarks including Tate Modern and The Shard, comprises mixed use buildings that provide offices, shops, gallery restaurant and cinema adjacent to the historic and world-famous food destination Borough Market.