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Sto Products Help Restore Spanish City To Its Former Glory

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The century-old Spanish City building in Whitley Bay has undergone extensive refurbishment - picture courtesy of

The Spanish City building in Whitley Bay has benefitted from the use of Sto’s external wall insulation, finishing render and innovative paint technology, as part of a £10 million restoration project.

“Spanish City is widely-recognized as an important Grade II listed building in the area, but it had fallen into disrepair, so we’re delighted that Sto products were chosen to help restore it to its former glory,” explains Sto’s Regional Sales Manager, Peter Bishop. “Our StoTherm Classic K insulation, Stolit MP render and StoColor Dryonic paint formed a perfectly integrated system. They have helped bring the building back to life, and they now also protect it from the harsh weathering effects of its coastal location.”

The project involved restoring the building, complete with its 180 ft-long Renaissance-style frontage and distinctive dome feature, and combining it with an adjacent property to create a brand-new entertainment complex. “There were many different issues which had to be taken into consideration,” explain project architects, ADP. “The listed status of the building meant that some parts of the original rendered façades were being retained, and so we had to match the new areas to these. We were able to create a uniform, smooth surface on the dome, onto which we could apply the Stolit MP special effect render. We were also able to match the colour of the original façades from the wide choice which Sto offers.”

Stolit MP uses a special combination of Sto binders which provide far greater resistance to surface cracks than traditional alternatives. The Stolit MP’s outstanding weather-resistance was another significant advantage given the coastal location of the building, and that the texture of this free-style render could be worked to match that of the original retained areas. “We had used StoColor Lotusan on previous projects and been pleased with the results it provided, so we were confident that Stolit MP was a reliable selection for this project,” adds ADP.

The StoColor Dryonic paint used on the exterior was a particularly significant choice. Inspired by special micro-textures found on the shell of the fog-basking beetle, the StoColor Dryonic paint uses a special composition of binding agents and filler material to create a micro-textured surface which instantly repels water and simultaneously channels it away. This allows the façade to dry rapidly and ensures that microorganisms are unable to grow, dramatically reducing the likelihood of any staining or marking. The façade will look exactly the way the architect had planned, and will go on looking that way for many years to come, with far less maintenance than any conventional alternative would require.

Sto worked closely with both the architect and the applicator, Rend-Tech North East Ltd who installed the Sto products. “There are obvious restrictions and requirements that must be considered when a building is listed, not least of which was blending the old and new sections together. Sto’s technical input was very valuable in helping us to accommodate these and many other considerations, and the quality of the installation is there for all to see.” adds Rend-Tech’s M.D. Simon Fletcher.

Originally built as a concert hall, Spanish City has also been used as a, dance hall and fun fair. As the center-piece of North Tyneside Council’s £36 million project to regenerate the Whitley Bay coast, the new complex now offers visitors a variety of high-quality fine dining and leisure activities.

North Tyneside Council invested £4m in its Spanish City project, which was completed in July, and secured £3.47m from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as well as more than £2m from the Coastal Communities Fund. The council’s restoration project was carried out in partnership with contractors Robertson Construction and appointed designers ADP. The building is run by Spanish City (NE) Ltd as a collection of leisure facilities, including family-friendly venues, a high-quality steak and seafood restaurant, tearooms, event spaces and a champagne bar.