The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich announces Hugh Broughton
Architects to lead major conservation project

  • Hugh Broughton Architects have been commissioned by The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich to lead the professional team for Phase II of the project to conserve the Painted Hall.
  • Decorated between 1708 and 1727 by Sir James Thornhill, the Painted Hall is a masterpiece of baroque art and a highlight of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site
  • The first phase of the conservation project was completed in 2012 with 560 square metres of paintings cleaned and conserved to dramatic effect
  • The second phase will conserve the remaining 3,700 square metres of the Hall and deliver a new visitor reception in the undercroft below
  • For further information please contact ornc@kallaway.com or call +44 (0)20 7221 7883

London 21 April 2015: Hugh Broughton Architects, London has been announced as the lead consultant to deliver the conservation of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) in Greenwich, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece of baroque architecture. Currently in the development phase, the project will be delivered over the course of the next three years, with work due to start in spring 2016 with completion in 2018.

Following a £2.77 million pledge in November 2014 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the ORNC is embarking on the second stage of this transformational project. In 2013 the first phase of the conservation project saw 560 square meters of paintings in the Upper Hall cleaned and conserved, recapturing the startling vibrancy and beauty of Thornhill’s work. The second phase aims to conserve the remaining 3,700 square meters of wall paintings. This far larger project will focus on the Lower Hall, with its spectacular ceiling depicting the founders of the Royal Hospital for Seamen – King William III and Queen Mary II, and will also create a new visitor area in the undercroft beneath, with improved facilities and new interpretation.

This is a major project for Hugh Broughton Architects, whose past experience delivering complex technical and conservation-related projects such as the award winning Halley VI Antarctic Research Station and Maidstone Museum East Wing, demonstrated their elegant and resourceful solutions to challenging situations. As well as managing the ambitious conservation work, they will be designing a new visitor area that will be at the heart of the ORNC’s future public engagement activities.

Hugh Broughton Architects will manage the complex conservation of the Painted Hall, whose painted surfaces have suffered from the effects of an unstable environment and the build up of years of dirt and dust. They will also focus on improving the environment within the Painted Hall and enhancing the presentation and interpretation of Thornhill’s paintings, as well as developing a new accessible visitor entrance and reception below.

Central to the project will be Hugh Broughton’s ability to manage a large team of consultants, conservators and technical experts. The activity, education and interpretation offering at the ORNC will be fully aligned with the wider conservation project, under the leadership of Hugh Broughton’s extensive team of skilled project managers and architects.

Hugh Broughton, Director, Hugh Broughton Architects: 
“We are thrilled to have been appointed to work with the Greenwich Foundation on Phase 2 of the conservation of Wren and Thornhill’s remarkable Painted Hall, which is without doubt one of the most significant examples of Baroque architecture and decoration in the UK. This extraordinary project holds the prospect of re-presenting the peerless Painted Hall to the highest possible standards through a combination of exceptional conservation, discrete technical improvement and inspiring interpretation.”

Will Palin, Conservation Director at ORNC:
We are delighted that Hugh Broughton Architects will be leading this transformational project. Hugh and his team have a track record of delivering world class projects which combine sensitivity and flair.

For further information please contact Fiona Russell or Tori Dance at ornc@kallaway.com or on +44 (0)207221 7883.


Notes to editors:

Contact Kallaway:
Fiona Russell Fiona.russell@kallaway.com
Tori Dance tori.dance@kallaway.com
+44 (0)207221 7883

About the Old Royal Naval College:
The Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) in Greenwich was established as the Royal Hospital for Seamen by King William III and Queen Mary II in 1694.

Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, it is one of the most important ensembles in European baroque architecture. From 1705, the Royal Hospital provided modest, wood-lined cabins as accommodation for retired sailors, housing as many as 2,700 residents at its peak in 1814. The last naval pensioners left in 1869, when the site became home to the Royal Naval College, an officers’ training academy, until 1997. When the Navy left, an independent charity was established to conserve the site for present and future generations, and create enjoyment, learning and unique cultural experiences for everyone.

Today this historic landmark is open to the public and is the home of three unique and free to visit attractions; the Painted Hall, the Chapel, and the Discover Greenwich visitor centre.

The Painted Hall is the greatest piece of decorative painting in England and has been described as ‘the Sistine Chapel of the UK’. The walls and ceilings were painted by Sir James Thornhill between 1708 and 1727.

The Chapel of St Peter and St Paul is a neo-classical masterpiece by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart and William Newton. Featuring a Samuel Green organ and an altarpiece painted by Benjamin West, it is one of the finest eighteenth century interiors in existence.

The ORNC is free to all visitors and is open daily from 10.00-17.00.

Hugh Broughton Architects was formed in 1996 and has developed a reputation for carefully crafted contemporary architecture. The practice has designed projects for many high profile clients including the British Council, Institute of Structural Engineers, National Galleries of Scotland, The Henry Moore Foundation and the TUC. The practice is best known for the design of Maidstone Museum East Wing, which completed in 2012 and received an RIBA Downland Award, three AJ Retrofit awards and a Civic Trust Commendation; and Halley VI Antarctic Research Station designed with AECOM for the British Antarctic Survey, which was officially launched in 2013 and has received fifteen international awards to date. It is an extraordinary project which has led to numerous other international polar commissions and is the subject of a new book published by Park Books this summer. The practice’s new gallery for the Portland Collection on the Welbeck Estate in Nottingham for the Harley Foundation and the redevelopment of the Henry Moore Foundation, in Perry Green, Hertfordshire are both currently under construction for completion Spring 2016. A dramatic new interpretation and visitor facilities at Clifford's Tower in York for English Heritage is also currently in development.


Contact Hugh Broughton Architects:
Claire Curtice Publicists
+ 44 (0)20 7613 1442


TERMS AND CONDITIONS 2 Portland Road Holland Park London W11 4LA Tel: +44 (0)20 7221 7883