Chinese Arch, Manchester

Chinatown is the vibrant heart of the Chinese community in Manchester and one of Chinatown’s most noticeable landmarks is the Chinese archway, situated on Faulkner Street.

Client: Manchester City Council
Value: 120,000
Location: Chinatown, Manchester
Duration: 10 weeks

The arch is officially categorised as a bridge by Manchester City Council as traffic passes underneath and it was specially built in China and shipped over in containers before being assembled by Chinese craftsmen in 1987. The structure was a gift from the City Council to the Chinese community and is adorned in dragons and phoenixes.

However, after many years exposed to the elements, the arch required extensive restoration work to be undertaken and Bethell were successful in being awarded to contract.  In 2014 Bethell assembled a team of masons, roof tilers, joiners and decorative sign writers to use a high degree of skill to ensure that the restoration was sympathetic with the original workmanship. The whole roof was stripped off and damaged tiles were replaced with exact replicas of the existing glazed ceramic tiles.  Decorative painting work including the application of gold leaf had to be carried out in a controlled environment which involved encapsulating the arch with a temporary structure to ensure that temperatures and humidity could be controlled.

Other works involved repairs and cleaning of masonry, joinery repairs and metal work repairs. The works required traffic and pedestrian management in a busy city centre location and were completed on time and within budget.


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