BDP was appointed by the Department for Education to refurbish the Grade II listed Old Admiralty Building, a 20,000 square metre, 6-storey building built in three phases from 1888 to 1905, located just south of Trafalgar Square, London.
The project transformed a cramped, cellular floor plan of more than 660 rooms into a modern, open-plan working environment to accommodate the Department of Education’s considerable staff, departments and visitors, and the Government Art Collection, including gallery and display spaces, library, conservation workshop, art stores and offices.
As a co-project lead, Thomas worked across both the enabling and fit-out phases of the project to deliver:
The building presented extraordinary challenges for the design team. Principal among these was how to transform a cellular arrangement of over 660 rooms into a contemporary workplace that supported clear communication, to overhaul its entire system of electrical, mechanical and hydraulic services, and to vastly improve its acoustics and security – all while maintaining its historic fabric and character.
The key lay in rationalising and adapting the building’s layout – of long, paired corridors around large lightwells – to provide for a variety of workplaces that supporting collaborative and connected working practices.
Regular and transparent engagement with Westminster’s Conservation Officer and Historic England provided constant review and refinements to the range of design interventions.
Key elements of the design included:
Aerial view of the site and vicinity.
Left: Restored lanterns over a lightwell, with new Right: Ground floor corridor with restored ‘nautical’ tiled
metal screens over service runs behind. floor, timber dado panels and decorative plasterwork.
Photos courtesy BDP.
The project created new informal meeting areas, which provided tea points, printing stations and seating.
Photo courtesy BDP.
Wherever possible, original materials, finishes and textures were uncovered and restored in the course of works.
Photos courtesy BDP.
We’d love to hear from clients interested in new build, refurbishment and conservation projects, whether in Australia or Europe.
© STUDIO TRUDEAU. All rights reserved.