In 2016 the Court decided to employ a team of consultants led by Professor Tom Emerson of 6a architects to produce plans to conserve and maintain Skinners' Hall. The Court signed off the final design at their meeting on the 27th January 2021; they were given a presentation by Professor Emerson.
Planning permission for the work on the Hall was granted on the 4th February 2021
The tender for the work was written by the Clerk and is described here. His vision for the future of this project, which was presented at an event in the Hall on the 6th November 2017, is summarised here.
The work will be completed in several stages:
STAGES ONE AND TWO: the development of a concept, are now complete.
STAGE THREE: the Court agreed to spend up to £15.9m to renew ageing and dilapidated services, to make essential repairs and to make some significant improvements, not least to accessibility. The stripping out and overhaul of engineering will substantially reduce the Halls’s carbon footprint.
The Clerks update on Hall Development in the Annual Review 2020 provides more details including architects drawings but the design will include new lifts, new staircases, a new members area, a refurbished and accessible basement, a new kitchen, cloakrooms, washing and WC facilities and a spectacular new glass pavilion on a restructured terrace with its own staircase and lift access. Offices will be refurbished and accommodation for Hall Steward, Master and Clerk will be improved: the entire hall will be redecorated and re-lit.
Planning permission represents a significant step closer to the move out of the Hall in July 2021
STAGE FOUR: the tender for the building project is now underway. The Court will meet to determine the final budget which will allow for confirmation of the date for the move out of the Hall, the location of temporary offices and the duration of the closure – expected to be about 2 years.
The project is being supervised on behalf of the Court by the Hall Panel, chaired by Lord Malmesbury. The other members are the Master, the First Warden, John Hitchins, Annabelle Baird, Aidan Crawshaw, Francis Maude and Nick Gowing supported by the Clerk, the Finance Director and the Hall Director.
One of the range of experts that 6a will be collaborating with is conservation and historic building specialist, Nick Tyson of the Regency Townhouse Charity. He is developing a Conservation Statement and Conservation Management Plan and will provide technical and historical advice to support the project. You can read about Nick’s work in the links below
This project has been made possible because of a legacy bequeathed to the Company by David Beale. You can find out more about David Beale and his legacy here.
Presentation - Details of the project (if using Google Chrome, right click the link and select "open in new tab")