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* and designed by Robert Beale and Frank Matcham, is a rare example of a 'Kursaal', a multifunctional entertainment venue normally associated with spa or seaside towns with beginnings in the early nineteenth century but which never completely established itself in England. The construction of the building employed an at-the-time innovative, fireproof material built of clinker concrete and of a 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 disrupting the programme of conference and exhibitions and was completed on time and on budget.