Google+ London Architecture Blog: Week 43 13 Feature #36 Haberdashers Hall

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Week 43 13 Feature #36 Haberdashers Hall

Haberdashers Hall
Project Team: Hopkins Architects, Holloway White Allom (contractor)
Date Completed: 2002
Location: 18 West Smithfield, EC1A 9HQ

The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers is a livery company originally set up in 14th century to regulate cloth merchants and is now an educational institution and charity for the fashion industry. Their new home in West Smithfield replaces the previous hall located in the Bassishaw ward of the City of London and was designed by Hopkins Architects and completed in 2002.

The hall is located behind a former warehouse building facing onto West Smithfield, beside Smithfield market and is centred around a quadrangle enclosed on four sides by two storey high classically proportioned brick elevations. At ground floor level, a cloister runs around the building and provides a link between the entrance corridor from the street, the orangery to the north, administrative offices to the south and west and the courtyard containing a modern water fountain by William Pye, landscaping and sculptures. The pitched roof of the buildings is finished in lead panelling with ventilation shafts above the main hall.

Inside the entrance of the building, a long orangery leads out onto the courtyard and provides reception and exhibition space. Beyond this, a large stone spiral staircase is centred around a statue of  St. Catherine of Alexandria and links to the first floor level containing the gallery, reception rooms and the main hall. The staircase is lit from above by a circular steel framed skylight and continues the brick finish found on the exterior of the building.

Arriving at first floor level, a long gallery/ reception space overlooks the courtyard and leads to the Court Room and Committee room to the right hand side and the Livery hall at the end. The Court Room is a semi circular space lit by skylights and large vertical windows centred around a crest of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, and is used for formal dinners and conferences. Beside this is the Committee Room, where traditional furniture blends with stained glass, modern artwork and plaques to provide a relaxed and welcoming room used as a break out space for catering or for official meetings and functions. In contrast, the Luncheon Room provides more formal dining facilities and retains original oak paneling and a table taken from the previous Haberdashers Hall.

The main Livery hall located at the end of the gallery is a large open space featuring modern oak panelling, a vaulted ceiling and provides facilities for up to 350 people. The hall overlooks the courtyard via large windows located on its eastern elevation. The vaulted ceiling contains oak panelling, stainless steel framing and recessed lighting and acoustic facilities creating a balance between the traditional furniture and modern interpretation of the structure and finishes.

The hall is available to hire for a wide range of events including dinners, meetings, functions, weddings, AGMs etc. For further details please visit the official website below.

Thank you to David Bartle and Chris Leadbeater of The Haberdashers Company for allowing me to photograph the buildings and inside the hall.

Inside the Cloister

The Orangery
Spiral staircase at Ground Floor level

Spiral staircase
The Court Room
Committee Room
The Hall
Ceiling of the Hall

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