Restoration and rejuvenation to provide contemporary office space.

The Guildhall is a Grade I listed building from 1775, which contains the Town Hall, with Municipal Offices, Council Chamber and spectacular Banqueting room. The Public Spaces were well used and maintained, however the upper floors were underutilised. Bath & North East Somerset Council had a vision to restore and rejuvenate these areas, embarking on a refurbishment project to transform the upper floors of the Guildhall, for its staff.

BBA sought to deliver these aspirations by rationalising the Council’s use of existing offices, maximising underutilised areas and designing new contemporary spaces.

The proposals looked to reconfigure existing offices to create more comfortable and useable work places for staff. In addition, the designs looked to maximise the double height spaces by installing mezzanine floors, which increased the useable floor area. These interventions were proposed in areas that retained fewer historic fabric or features of significance and were designed collaboratively with the Structural Engineer’s to ensure the impact on the historic building was minimised. A contemporary design was integrated and the designs encouraged collaboration between departments. Mechanical and Electrical services, including IT provision, were coordinated to future proofing the building. Accessibility and inclusivity was considered throughout the scheme and incorporated where possible, within the constraints of the Grade I listed building, ensuring B&NES Council’s aspirations for an inclusive work place was delivered.

The result project provides a modernised office space. The refurbished spaces and mezzanine levels provide a variety of spaces to work in, with natural light provided from new roof lanterns. While new and refurbished welfare facilities are clean and bright. Improved infrastructure systems have increased productivity, the building’s appeal and staff morale. Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cite that the project has improved both the building’s efficiency, facilitates their “New ways of Working” policies and is now used to attract future employees into the Council.