Warwick Hall – A praiseworthy project
The exceptional design and high quality workmanship of a project comprising the refurbishment and extension of the medieval Warwick Hall in Burford has won the scheme a place on the RICS Awards 2017 shortlist.
The Warwick Hall is affiliated to the Church of St John the Baptist, Burford.
The project has created a superb, modern multi-purpose community facility, with a new design including the adaptation and extension of the existing hall, the creation of a new hall, meeting rooms, a café, kitchen and ancillary facilities.
Main Contractors were Edgar Taylor Ltd; architects were Acanthus Clews Ltd.
The existing Warwick Hall has been retained mainly as it is. Some of the more recent alterations have been removed and the hall returned largely to its original proportions.
The timber-floored 60 m² space, which has a maximum capacity of 60 seated at tables, has also been extensively repaired and re-decorated.
A significant proportion of the new development comprises the construction of a second, larger hall with capacity for up to 200.
The new building also incorporates a number of meeting rooms, including one on the ground floor (the Gauntlet Room) and one on the first floor (the Greening Room). There is also an administration office on the ground floor.
A new level access into the hall has also been created from the north of the new building, through the churchyard. This opens directly into a café and foyer area which is intended to function as the heart of the building and centre of activity for the community. A kitchen and café servery have also been provided on the ground floor, to serve both halls.
The lower ground floor comprises two wash rooms, a storage area and a plant room.
Outside the hall, the existing garden has been re-landscaped. A terrace has been created immediately adjacent to the Hall, which has sufficient space to accommodate a small marquee for functions. Beyond the terrace, a lawn area has been provided for activities and receptions.
According to the Church of St John the Baptist, Burford: “Our vision for the new development was to provide facilities for our children’s Sunday Club; a large hall for informal services and large meetings; rooms for Bible study groups; space for youth work; offices for church staff; accommodation for confidential counselling and prayer, and facilities for other Christian groups.
“For the local community there is also accommodation for a day centre for the elderly; space for community interest groups and societies; a large hall for community celebrations, parties, fêtes, concerts, plays and public meetings; facilities which can be used by the Town Council and residents associations; rooms which can be hired for private parties and receptions, and a space which local schools might wish to use.”