24 February 2021

Lincoln’s Inn Great Hall and Library wins AJ Retrofit Award

Celebrating the design expertise behind the vital renewal and repurposing of existing buildings, the 2021 AJ Retrofit Awards took place virtually for the first time, as the 15 category winners were announced to attendees watching remotely this evening.

MICA was delighted to see our work at Lincoln’s Inn recognised in the £10m and over Listed Building Category.
The AJ Retrofit Awards Judging Panel 2021 commented:

“A sensitively done restoration with underground extension - extraordinary means to repurposing a building, but the balance has been rightly drawn. The judges loved the simplicity of the intervention. A project with long term investment in mind, creating a sustainable future for a listed building that doesn’t detract from the spirit of it."

Embracing the principle of reuse and working with the existing building, the project significantly improves the facilities that the Inn offer to its members and the wider community, improving their operations and the building’s performance, whilst at the same time enhancing the character of the historic buildings and revealing previously unseen features.

The project includes the sensitive refurbishment of the Grade II* Listed Great Hall & Library and significant additional floor space for education and conferencing use through excavation adjacent to the Great Hall and through the replacement of an existing, lower quality, building with a more sensitive and efficient extension to the Library’s facilities. Collectively, with the works to the Great Hall, the Inn is now more inclusive, accessible and celebrates the heritage of the original building whilst adding new buildings to the rich history of the Estate.

The works combine restoration and remodelling of historic fabric and the insertion of high quality and sympathetic new additions to the Inn’s historic estate. The works to the existing building including the removal of insensitive 20th century additions to reveal the character of the Great Hall and introducing new elements that integrated seamlessly with the historic fabric and offer new views of the existing building.

Tim Paul, Project Architect said:

“We are really delighted to win a retrofit award for our project at Lincoln’s Inn. This award is a real tribute to the skill and sensitivity shown by the team in adapting the existing buildings for modern day use.

The project was a once in a lifetime opportunity to reinstate the original character of the Grade II* Listed Great Hall & Library, and at the same time insert carefully crafted additions that offer the Inn new facilities to deliver their education programme.”


The 2021 awards celebrated an outstanding year of retrofit projects in what has been a challenging 12 months for the architectural sector. Combined, the winners and all the finalists in this year’s Retrofit Awards prove that this still-emerging sector is one the UK architectural profession can be proud of. The AJ is proud to play a role in its continued development.
The full list of shortlisted projects can be found here.

For more information on the AJ Retrofit Awards go to

AJ Retrofit Awards Winners Revealed

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