In 2016 the Court decided to employ a team of consultants led by Tom Emerson of 6a architects to produce plans to conserve and maintain Skinners' Hall.
Tom and his partner Stephanie Macdonald founded 6a in 2001; they are best known for their contemporary art galleries, educational buildings, artist’s studios and residential projects, often in sensitive historic environments. The practice has won major national and international competitions and has been recognised with several prestigious awards.
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 will develop a Conservation Statement and Conservation Management Plan and will provide technical and historical advice to support the project.
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 is nearing completion. The Court has agreed to spend up to £8m to renew ageing and dilapidated services; there are also essential repairs to do. The Pre-app (that is, plans at an exploratory stage before a formal planning application) is about to be presented to the City planning authorities and Historic England.
STAGE THREE is under way. It will involve design development and lead to the identification of the scope of works, including any enhancements which will be the subject of a cost-benefit analysis. This will require Court approval and the budget will be agreed at the end of this stage before we go to contract. The earliest start date for any work is Summer 2021 and the project may take two years or more.
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 and Aidan Crawshaw, supported by the Clerk and the Hall Director.
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.