Construction isn’t all about razing the old to the ground and starting again. Sometimes we can gain a great deal from renovating and updating old buildings that have brought us so much joy in the past. Hospitals and government buildings are a perfect example of this. In Exeter there is an old hospital which now houses bars and restaurants. The construction industry is never above breathing new life into old structures.
Industrial group Bouygues are going ahead with plans to revamp the former Royal London Hospital and convert it into a town hall for Tower Hamlets.
Situated north of the river, the Grade II listed building first constructed in the 18th century, has been empty since 2012 after being a vibrant and active hospital for most of the 1900s.
"Royal London Hospital, Tower Hamlets, has been empty since 2012."
The contract, worth £109.5m, was signed with east London council in December of last year. John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We are delighted to have signed a contract with Bouygues UK to deliver a new town hall for Tower Hamlets. This will be one of the most exciting projects in London. It will be a building for everyone to use, a place to get things done quickly with council, housing and health services under one roof, meeting rooms and spaces for the public, and all in one of the best connected sites in London.”
What really excites us about this revamp is that Bouygues UK have made it clear that they intend to maintain the heritage of the beautiful old hospital. Not only this though, there will be a focus on keeping the project sustainable. Sustainability will be achieved with optimised water consumption systems and the use of renewable energy sources for electricity.
If all goes to plan it is believed the project will gain a BREEAM rating of Excellent. We really hope they can make it happen. They would be setting a fantastic example for other big build projects in the pipeline.
"It is believed the project could gain a BREEAM rating of Excellent."
New projects don’t have to be built from the ground up and they don’t have to cost the earth - literally! - there are so many ways in which we can create sustainable projects and utilise some of the gorgeous architecture that is all around us. Don’t get us wrong, we love new and shiny and different! But there’s so much we can learn and gain from the past.
The final design comes from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and retains the original Georgian facade.
"The final design comes from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and retains the original Georgian features."
The original projected cost for this big build was £105m but as now risen to £115.4m. The increase can be traced to the amount of asbestos that has been found within the building and of course there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding Brexit which cannot be avoided.
We can’t wait to see updates from the project as it develops. There are so many exciting big builds taking place across London and the rest of the country right now. 2019 is an exciting year!
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