Lincoln’s Inn Great Hall and Library

Lincoln’s Inn Great Hall and Library

The Great Hall and Library project includes restoration, excavation and extension of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, and is the most significant development to the historic estate in 150 years. The work comprises heritage-led conservation and restoration with bold contemporary additions to the oldest working Library in London. The changes enhance the character and setting of the Inn and its unique buildings, providing huge improvements to quality and quantity of teaching and event spaces for the wider Inn community.

Client

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Location

Holborn, London

Dates

The Great Hall
Construction: July 2016–2018

East Terrace Development
Construction: July 2016–2019

Library Extension
Construction: July 2016–2018

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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.

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Library Extension

The new extension to the north of the existing library 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. The extension replaces a poor quality 1960’s domestic building. Complimentary in scale and materials to its context, the new building provides an important addition to the Inn’s estate. 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.

It is both interwoven and distinguished from the existing Library via a glazed link which opens up a new circulation route within the Inn and enables connectivity with new facilities from four existing below and above ground levels. This allows for wheelchair access between the main first floor Library and the Library stacks in the basement for the first time.

The Library Extension will achieve BREEAM Very Good.

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

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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 refurbishment of the Great Hall removes recent poor-quality alterations, restoring many of the building’s heritage features and reinstating the original ceremonial entrance and improving accessibility throughout the building. The refurbished building provides improved banqueting and dining facilities in the Great Hall and rejuvenated events spaces that improve the Inn’s commercial offering. The works bring the building up to modern standards with the introduction of underfloor heating, new production kitchens, drainage and waterproofing and new energy efficient mechanical systems.

Within the hall, a new timber floor with underfloor heating has been installed to 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.

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