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Project Overview

Client Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn

Project Value £19.5m

Key Contact Rob Joyce: Regional Development Director – England South and Midlands

Expertise Building

Sector Community

Timeline July 2016 to December 2017

Location England - South and Midlands

Lincoln's Inn

Raising the bar for Lincoln's lawyers

Project Summary

In what was the biggest single project since its original 19th century construction, we were appointed by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn to carry out a major, £20m conservation and extension programme to Lincoln’s Inn’s Grade II* listed Great Hall (1845) and Library (1873). Situated within the Bloomsbury Conservation area in central London, the Lincoln’s Inn development demanded specialist design and construction methodologies to preserve the heritage and historic importance of the iconic buildings, which form the collegiate heart of the Inn.

Project Brief

The Grade II* listed Great Hall and Library had to be carefully restored and refurbished to preserve future use, in symmetry with the construction of two empathetic extensions to add to the Inn’s educational facilities.

Project Challenges

The ambitious project was undertaken on a sensitive site while the Great Hall, Library and surrounding barristers' chambers remained in operation. The Great Hall was completed ahead of the East Terrace and Library extension, which required robust planning, coordination and the seamless delivery of a complex series of site activities. The protection of heritage features within the Grade II* listed buildings was also a preoccupation of our works programme. Working closely with RMA Heritage Consultants and English Heritage, we ensured no loss of integrity occurred.

Project Solution

The Great Hall, which houses the Inn’s principal dining hall, members’ common room and visitor reception, received a significant upgrade. Works included the reopening of the main entrance door, an upgrade of the kitchen, drainage and damp proofing plus the reinstatement, and conservation, of the original configurations and finishes. A 1247m2, two-storey extension was also constructed below ground under the East Terrace of the Great Hall. It houses state-of-the-art teaching facilities, including a large, multi-purpose lecture theatre. The new four-storey Library extension delivered an additional 565m2 of space for books, archives and support rooms. With one floor underground, and three above, it provides step-free access, which has increased accessibility to the collection from 30% to 80%. Informed by a Statement of Significance, a long-standing Inn Heritage Assessment and accompanied by a comprehensive Heritage Statement, the designs were respectful of the historic context of Lincoln’s Inn. Sustainability was also an important consideration of the scheme, which achieved a BREEAM Very Good rating.

Outputs & Benefits Delivered

Heritage Expertise The transformation and refurbishment of Grade II* listed buildings

Improving Accessibility The Library construction provides step-free access, which has increased accessibility to the collection from 30% to 80%.

Craftsmanship Specialist stone contractors, with proven expertise and heritage skills, were employed on the project

Historic Joinery Recognising the irreplaceable nature of the original timber doors and panelling we engaged specialist subcontractors who were members of the Institute of Carpenters and the Guild of Master Craftsmen

BREEAM Very Good rating

Mitigating Disruption We worked closely with HSLI in the development of a bespoke Traffic Management Plan

"Lincoln's Inn is a longstanding institution that prepares future barristers for Call to the Bar. The conservation and extension works will preserve and enhance the building for future students and add to the vital functions it provides to its members and the judiciary"

Rob Joyce GRAHAM Regional Development Director

"This is a very exciting, but complex and potentially sensitive project for the Inn. We very much look forward to working with GRAHAM to deliver this, whilst making every effort to respect the challenges that this will bring to our tenants""

Philip Ardley Interim Director of Estates at the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn

"The restoration of such a significant historic and architectural property requires skill and makes this a highly rewarding project for our team"

Rob Joyce GRAHAM Regional Development Director