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EXTERNAL ENVELOPE On a mission


A sensitive restoration of a dilapidated but listed ‘Mission Hall’ in west London posed a series of challenges, not least ensuring that external fixtures such as rainwater goods met strict authenticity criteria. Neil Davies Architects report on the project


he task of transforming a Grade II listed hall with a varied past in Hammersmith to an open-plan co-working office space, included maintaining the distinctive original exterior fabric of the building. This was a key part of giving the building a long-term future, together with a reimagined interior. The design approach taken enhanced the entire building whilst preserving its special historic interest and character.


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Situated in Liffey Road in the Bradmore Conservation Area of Hammersmith, the building was completed in 1883-4 and designed by noted 19th century architect Hugh Gough. While originally built as a church hall, it was also used as a working men’s club, a kitchen feeding the poor, and since the 1960s a studio workspace of a scenic artist specialising in backcloths for stage and film. When the studio closed in 2014, the building was used temporarily as a workshop and for storage, as well as a boxing gym prior to the recent category A redevelopment into 7000 ft2


of office space.


The building had suffered from years of neglect and disrepair prior to its renovation. The roof and guttering leaked and there had been some rooflights installed that were not compliant with its Grade II status. Furthermore, with this historically significant building in a poor state of repair, the highly decorative east and west facing Venetian Gothic facades required sensitive and accurate restoration in order to retain their heritage value. Similar in appearance, these two elevations are detailed with crenulations and sculpted finials, and ogee- shaped drip mouldings with detailed finials and stops. Three striking lancet windows are made up of individual trefoil lights (some with coloured glass) and there are cusped door arches.


One of the challenges was the fact the hall was landlocked with four domestic residences sharing a party wall. The changes to the elevations included repairs


ADF AUGUST 2021


A hopper and downpipe were installed in Porcelain White to coordinate with the exterior, and provide an authentic cast iron-style look that befitted the Grade II listed building


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