Lincoln’s Inn Great Hall and Library

Lincoln’s Inn Great Hall and Library

Our team are currently working on plans to significantly improve the library, education and administrative facilities at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn following the previous Masterplan for the Inn site. The works commenced in May 2016 and are due to complete in 2017.

Client 

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Location 

Holborn, London

Dates

The Great Hall
Construction: July 2016–October 2017

East Terrace Development
Construction: July 2016–March 2018

Library Extension
Construction: July 2016–March 2018

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The Great Hall

Designed by Philip Hardwick and completed by his son in 1845, the Great Hall is both the physical and symbolic centre of Lincoln’s Inn. The proposed development maintains and reinforces the Great Hall as the centre of collegiate activity for the Inn. 

The proposed refurbishment works seek to reinstate the key access routes and clarity in movement within and around the building for all users. The introduction of new lifts within the building, along with additional entrances in the two new developments will greatly improve access for less abled and wheelchair bound users. Re-opening the southern entrance stair will return ceremony to the ascent into the Hall, re-establishing the sense of arrival that was subdued by previous works.
 
A new timber floor with underfloor heating in the Great Hall will provide more effective thermal comfort for users, while replacing a failing 20th century flooring and restoring the timber wainscoting that lines the room which had been damaged by the installation of radiators.

Works to the services and servicing areas of the building will ensure its function is sustained into the future, increasing the capacity of the kitchens to support the new developments and modernising the remaining outdated systems. 

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East Terrace Development

The proposals for a new education suite will place education at the heart of the Inn, reinforcing it as one of the Inn’s core functions. Links to the Great Hall and Library building will benefit both the daily operations and life at the Inn and meet the need for improved educational and training facilities. The new building will provide the Inn’s students and members with high quality teaching facilities that are linked to the other core functions within the Great Hall.

The new education suite is located beneath the existing east terrace of the Great Hall and will provide high quality, state-of-the-art advocacy training facilities over two storeys. Several large rooflights in conjunction with double height spaces below will bring natural light down into both levels.

The design seeks to accommodate the new facilities with minimum visual impact on the historic setting of the Great Hall and Library building and on the wider setting of the Inn. Minor interventions within the existing fabric of the east terrace will be the only discernible impression of the building below.

The new development will achieve BREEAM Very Good.

Library Extension

The Library Extension provides important additional space to the Library and administrative offices at Lincoln’s Inn. The new extension provides contemporary office and library storage facilities, allowing the existing listed building to focus on the more ceremonial uses it is best placed to support. 

Whilst the building takes a simple form, it is constructed of high quality, finely detailed materials that are sympathetic to the context and blend with the existing Great Hall and Library. Conscious and meaningful design references to Hardwick’s Great Hall and Library ensure the new building sits well within its context. The new building respects the importance of the existing Library building by articulating the massing, so as to reveal more of the original building beyond from Lincoln's Inn Fields.

The Library Extension has connections to the existing building on all three levels connecting similar services within the existing and new Library and administrative facilities.

New vertical circulation serving both the Library and administration spaces is provided within the new building. This allows for wheelchair access between the main first floor Library and the Library stacks in the basement. A new accessible entrance to the Library is provided from the new entrance at ground floor.
 
The Library Extension will achieve BREEAM Very Good.

Stuart Cade Project Director for Rick Mather Architects; completed by MICA team

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