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Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings


  • KEIM GW Primer
  • KEIM Ecosil-ME
  • KEIM Royalan
  • KEIM Soldalit-ME

Client: English Heritage

Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Decorator: Crofts Building & Conservation Ltd

Location: Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, Spring Gardens, Shrewsbury SY1 2SZ

Project Photographs: KEIM Mineral Paints Ltd

Completed: 2022

About this project

Built in 1797, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings based just outside the town centre, was the world's first iron-framed building. It has won the RIBA Regional West Midlands Building of the Year Award 2024.

For almost 100 years, the site operated as a state-of-the art steam powered flax mill, before being converted into maltings and during the Second World War used as temporary military barracks. It closed in 1987 but was bought by Historic England in 2005.

KEIM Mineral Paints were approached by the architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, in 2017 to help bring this project back to life as a workspace, social enterprise hub and leisure destination. Bryan Roe, Senior Sales Executive of KEIM Mineral Paints visited site and upon inspection found up to 15 layers of paint delaminating from the brickwork. The application of impermeable coatings had contributed to delamination and required removal prior to redecoration. Surface breathability cannot be restored unless impermeable coatings are removed. KEIM Mineral Paints chemically bond to  mineral substrates, providing surface protection and UV stable pigment.

The Thermatech superheated water cleaning system was used to remove the existing coatings and ensure full breathability and adhesion of KEIM Paints.

On the brick barrel vaults, the previous coatings were mechanically abraded as the Thermatech system would have been too harsh for the substrate.

KEIM GW Primer was applied as a base coat, followed by a two-coat application of KEIM Ecosil-ME White which is a highly specialised silicate-based interior paint. It has a photocatalytic effect, reducing harmful gases and neutralising odours, specially formulated for heavily used interior spaces such as public buildings, schools and hospitals.

For the lettering on the exterior of the building, KEIM Royalan in a black shade was used and KEIM Soldalit-ME White was applied as a block stripe across the faรงade.

This is a lovely example of how an historic building that has been in decline for decades can be sustainably reused through innovation, revolution and gentle touch to repair of the fabric. The project is an essence of striving towards a circular economy by using traditional craft, materials and skills throughout the project.

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