The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich announces Hugh Broughton Architects to lead major conservation project

Hugh Broughton Architects, London has been announced as the lead consultant to deliver the conservation of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) in Greenwich, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece of baroque architecture. Currently in the development phase, the project will be delivered over the course of the next three years, with work due to start in spring 2016 with completion in 2018.

Following a £2.77 million pledge in November 2014 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the ORNC is embarking on the second stage of this transformational project. In 2013 the first phase of the conservation project saw 560 square meters of paintings in the Upper Hall cleaned and conserved, recapturing the startling vibrancy and beauty of Thornhill’s work. The second phase aims to conserve the remaining 3,700 square meters of wall paintings. This far larger project will focus on the Lower Hall, with its spectacular ceiling depicting the founders of the Royal Hospital for Seamen – King William III and Queen Mary II, and will also create a new visitor area in the undercroft beneath, with improved facilities and new interpretation.

This is a major project for Hugh Broughton Architects, whose past experience delivering complex technical and conservation-related projects such as the award winning Halley VI Antarctic Research Station and Maidstone Museum East Wing, demonstrated their elegant and resourceful solutions to challenging situations. As well as managing the ambitious conservation work, they will be designing a new visitor area that will be at the heart of the ORNC’s future public engagement activities.

Hugh Broughton Architects will manage the complex conservation of the Painted Hall, whose painted surfaces have suffered from the effects of an unstable environment and the build up of years of dirt and dust. They will also focus on improving the environment within the Painted Hall and enhancing the presentation and interpretation of Thornhill’s paintings, as well as developing a new accessible visitor entrance and reception below.

Central to the project will be Hugh Broughton’s ability to manage a large team of consultants, conservators and technical experts. The activity, education and interpretation offering at the ORNC will be fully aligned with the wider conservation project, under the leadership of Hugh Broughton’s extensive team of skilled project managers and architects.

Hugh Broughton, Director, Hugh Broughton Architects:

“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. 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.”

Will Palin, Conservation Director at ORNC:

“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.”