Civic Trust Awards 2010: Shortlisted
RIBA White Rose Award 2009: Shortlisted
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Pro-Yorkshire Awards – Awards for Building Conservation and Overall Best Project Awards 2009
BCI Awards 2008: Conservation – High Commendation
British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA) Conservation Award 2008
The Royal Hall, Listed Grade II* designed by Robert Beale and Frank Matcham, is a rare example of a building type that, although of fairly frequent occurrence elsewhere in Europe, never completely established itself in England. The building is almost the last example of a ‘Kursaal’: a multi-functional entertainment venue normally associated with spa or seaside towns and which had its beginnings in the early nineteenth century.
The construction of the building employed an innovative, at the time, fire-proof material built of clinker concrete filler joist construction on a steel frame. However, the concrete had subsequently failed and was crumbling away, undermining the highly ornate and decorative finishes within the building which had additionally become badly water damaged over time.
Burrell Foley Fischer approached this sensitive conservation and restoration project by focussing on the authenticity of historic details through careful research. For example, through the analysis of paint scrapes it was rewarding to discover that the original interior was largely gilt and gold leaf with a dark blue vaulted ceiling representing the night sky.
The project was carried out within a functioning international conference centre without detriment to the programme of conference and exhibitions and was completed on time and on budget.