Royal Festival Hall, London

Client : ISG
Value : £1 M


The Grade I listed Royal Festival Hall was built on the South Bank of the Thames in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. It was the subject of a major but sensitive £91m restoration under the guidance of English Heritage.

Scope of Works

  • Controlled and selected demolition for the refurbishment of the Hall. Every stage of the project had to be carefully planned as not to disturb the retained listed structure.
  • A comprehensive scaffold was designed in the auditorium, which was to provide a working platform for the wave ceiling removal and installation. This was also designed to aid the removal of the concrete planks which made up the auditorium floor.
  • The John F Hunt Concrete Cutting removed the entire reinforced concrete stage and auditorium floor areas using Brokk 180’s equipped with hydraulic breakers and concrete cracking attachments.
  • Powered by 3-phase electricity, these compact tracked units from Sweden were completely fume free and hence ideal for continuous operation in such a confined area.
  • A wide variety of other work was undertaken in many different areas, including the use of floor and tack sawing machinery.
  • A massive 2.2m blade was used to cut openings through the 1m thick basement floor slab as part of a new drainage system.
  • Six staircases were removed robotically and openings were created for the lift shafts.


  • In line with the sensitive nature of the project, John F Hunt passed all the water they required for operation, through a filtration system prior to disposal, thus minimising the amount used.
  • By the end of the overall project, John F Hunt carried out Concrete Drilling and Sawing works on behalf of 5 diferent teams of contractors, culminating in an extremely successful contract, delivered on time and within budget.