tp bennett


Guildhall Old Library



City of London Corporation

London, UK

Architecture, Interiors

Public/Civic Use

13,000 sq ft



The Guildhall is at the heart of the City of London and the Old Library and associated Livery building is one of its key heritage assets. Dating from the 15th century and redesigned in the 19th century, to contain a repository for 40,000 books, it became an event space in the 20th century but was poorly maintained and lacked flexibility, undermining its potential.

As part of major works across the whole Guildhall Campus, tp bennett refurbished the Grade II* listed Old Library to improve it and make it commercially viable. The adjoining  Print Room, once a public reading room was refitted to provide breakout space and smaller adjacent rooms enhanced to create new private dining rooms.

The new Livery Hall, once home to the Museum of London, was restored to create a new event space. To offer competitive event space, a cloakroom, toilets and catering facilities were added. Audio-visual equipment and modern lighting were discreetly fitted and a new lift carefully carved into the existing structure to provide access between the Old Library, Livery Hall, the new facilities and circulation routes. Access from the street was improved by reopening the Old Library’s Basinghall Street entrance, completing the reinvigoration of this spectacular space.