Great to visit Skinners' Hall in Dowgate Hill this week whilst it is temporarily closed for major refurbishment.
Skinners’ Livery are working alongside the City of London and Historic England to recreate this Georgian building with its ancient foundations and scheduled monument status to be updated, protected and conserved for future generations.
The reopened Skinners' Hall in 2024 will be enhanced with sustainable mechanical and electrical services, improved accessibility and increased venue spaces.
When I had the chance to see the works (in my Ward of Dowgate) I was most delighted to see how the sustainability principles that the Skinners have long held dear (winning many Clean City Awards over the years) are being incorporated into the works. Rolls of insulation materials were apparent and then I heard about the overhaul of all the engineering services and the introduction of electric air source heat pump technology. To be told that this is the impact of the Livery Climate Action Group was music to my ears, but I suspect that they might have had this on the agenda anyway. The Skinners were, however, impacted by the fact that the electricity supply to the City’s grid was not sufficient, necessitating an upgrade to a local substation which had to be factored into the budget.
Another challenge related to the original windows that did not permit any double glazing, even if Historic England had allowed. Fortunately the original wooden shutters, that had been painted into the walls, were rediscovered and are being returned to full use to create a noise and light barrier as well as a heat retention or reduction capacity.
This project thus aligns to the City Corporation’s aspiration for net zero carbon emissions across the City 2040.
There are so many benefits to the new layout and accessibility to the building that will be a delight to visit next year. Surely time now to think about booking your visit both to view and dine in such fabulous surroundings.
More details on the Skinners’ website https://www.skinners.org.uk/restoration/
Thanks very much to Paul Richards who showed me around.
The City of London Corporation are working on a framework to assist historic buildings to reduce their carbon and create climate resilience. There are over 600 listed buildings in the City and one third of the scheduled monuments in London are in the City and they all create their own challenge in physical, legal and regulatory terms to retrofitting and refurbishment. This work is ongoing and so do look at this page for information and to contribute. https://historicbuildingscarbonreduction.commonplace.is/en-GB/proposals/about-the-project/step1