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The Painted Hall

by Hugh Broughton Architects with Martin Ashley Architects

Client Greenwich Foundation
RIBA London Award 2019, RIBA London Conservation Award 2019 and RIBA National Award 2019

© James Brittain

This inspirational project has restored and conserved Sir James Thornhills’ 3,700m² of painted surfaces, among the most important Baroque interiors in Europe. With the internal environment stabilised through the inventive reuse of the building, this wonderful space is now a significant place to visit in London.

The attention to detail and craftsmanship across the project is testament to a successful, collaborative relationship between the client and architect. The incredible chance find of the remains of Henry VII’s palace by workmen during the restoration work has been successfully been incorporated into the space, further enriching the visitor experience.

The internal environment in the Painted Hall needed stabilising, as it had been damaged by fluctuations in temperature and humidity from the original entrance door opening and closing. An imaginative circulation route makes sensitive and intelligent reuse of the building’s undercroft by removing the 1950s kitchen and returning it to its original use as a place to eat and socialise. This space now includes a café, shop and welcoming space for visitors. To enhance legibility and accessibility, the brave decision was taken to remove an original brick and insert platform lifts. This has made a significant improvement to the space, making the hall accessible to all. The visitor experience has been significantly enhanced with a grand reveal of the Painted Hall as it is entered from below, via the undercroft.

New lighting, heating and ventilation have been incorporated and cleverly concealed with meticulous attention to detail to ensure they blend seamlessly with the historic hall. This effortless blend of services across the space is no mean feat and is to be commended. The new heating system provides the optimum environment for painting stability while maintaining visitor comfort.

The fully accessible Painted Hall was reopened to the public in March 2019. The conservation work has allowed more than 80,000 visitors to witness this building at close quarters and created a significant new cultural destination within London.

Contract Value £3.5m

Internal Area 2,100 m²

Contractor Coniston

Structural Engineer SFK Consulting

Environmental / M&E Engineer QODA Consulting

Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant Huntley Cartwright

Acoustic Engineer Ramboll

Access Consultant Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE)

Lighting Design Sutton Vane Associates

Surveyor of the Fabric, Conservation Specialist Martin Ashley Architects

Audio Visual Consultant Michael Hyland & Associates

Environmental Consultant Tobit Curteis Associates

Paintings Conservator Paine and Stewart

Interpretation Designer Simon Leach Design

Health & Safety Consultant PFB Construction Management Services

© James Brittain
© James Brittain
© James Brittain
© James Brittain
© Hugh Broughton Architects
© Hugh Broughton Architects
© Hugh Broughton Architects
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