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Guildhall Old Library

©Hufton+Crow

facts

Client
City of London Corporation

Location
London, UK

Discipline
Architecture, Interiors

Sector
Public/Civic Use

Size
13,000 sq ft

Status
Completed

solution

The Guildhall is at the heart of the City of London and the Old Library and 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. Adjacent rooms were enhanced, with a private dining space created.

The Livery Hall, once home to the Museum of London, was refurbished to create additional capacity and the adjoining Print Room, once a public reading room, refitted to provide breakout 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.