A historic space at the heart of Goldsmiths, University of London has reopened following a £1.3million maintenance programme.
The roof of the Great Hall has undergone a year-long programme of works to ensure the Victorian structure is watertight and secure.
The project also saw some of the delicate original internal glazing in the Grade II-listed building given its first clean for up to 30 years.
Now the hall, which is the largest single space at the College, is back in use for activities like student orchestra rehearsals and community bookings.
The project saw specialist teams refurbishing the lantern and change the external roof glazing which sits over the internal windows as well as creating new access to ensure easier maintenance in the future.
Experts worked at a height of 42ft as they repaired the roof lights and lantern of the hall. The new clear glazing of the roof lights and the cleaning of the internal glass for the first time in around three decades allows more natural light into the space.
Anja Soetbeer, Associate Director of Estates and Facilities at Goldsmiths, said: “This was delicate work at times and we had to be sympathetic to the original structures.
“The Great Hall is an important part of our campus and a landmark for New Cross. Investing in our estate like this ensures it is available for use by everyone at Goldsmiths and the local community.”
The Great Hall is noted for its acoustics and is frequently used by orchestras including as a rehearsal space for the London Symphony Orchestra.
Originally an open parade ground as part of the Royal Naval School which was previously housed in the building, the Great Hall was enclosed in 1891 based on a design by J.W. Penfold.
It is a versatile space which hosts examinations as well as a wide range of events including live television broadcasts, debates, recitals, concerts, meetings, conferences and exhibitions. It can seat up to 580 people in the auditorium and 140 in the balcony.
The Great Hall is also the usual location for Goldsmiths’ graduation ceremonies, with these occasions returning to New Cross in summer 2020 after moving to the QE2 Centre in Westminster while the works were undertaken.