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Hugh Broughton lands Greenwich Painted Hall restoration job

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Hugh Broughton Architects has been selected to overhaul the iconic Painted Hall inside the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) in Greenwich, south east London

The architect defeated Purcell, Richard Griffiths Architects and Dannatt Johnson Architects to win the publically tendered £4 million restoration scheme.

Planned to complete in 2018, the project will restore the Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor-designed building and create a new entrance to the undercroft.

Interior murals by English baroque painter James Thornhill – which measure around 3,700m² – will also be conserved.

The project will see the ceiling of the lower hall – showing King William III and Queen Mary II – and the interior of the vestibule – listing the names of historic donors – both returned to their former glory.

A new visitor centre – featuring a reception, shop, toilets and café – will also be created in the undercroft of the hall which is currently used for events.

The appointment comes two years after an earlier restoration phase – conserving around 560m² of Thornhill’s murals – was completed.

Hugh Broughton Architects director Hugh Broughton said: ‘We are thrilled to have been appointed to work with the Greenwich Foundation on Phase 2 of the conservation of Wren and Thornhill’s remarkable Painted Hall, which is without doubt one of the most significant examples of Baroque architecture and decoration in the UK.

He continued: ‘This extraordinary project holds the prospect of re-presenting the peerless Painted Hall to the highest possible standards through a combination of exceptional conservation, discrete technical improvement and inspiring interpretation.’

ORNC conservation director Will Palin added: ‘We are delighted that Hugh Broughton Architects will be leading this transformational project. Hugh and his team have a track record of delivering world class projects which combine sensitivity and flair.’

Completed in 1708, the Grade I-listed building – where Horatio Nelson was brought to lie in state after the Battle of Trafalgar – was originally used as a dining hall for retired sailors. 

The domed structure is part of a larger UNESCO-protected Baroque complex – first known as the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich – which was transformed into a college for Royal Navy officers in 1869 and opened to the public in 2002.




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