Burrell Foley Fischer have unveiled designs for the refurbishment and remodelling of the historic complex of buildings in central York centred on the Grade I listed Guildhall.
The vision for the project is to provide a world class venue, supporting and nurturing the expansion of York’s vibrant creative businesses; combining events and exhibition space with state of the art collaboration and co-working facilities in the heart of a historic and creative city, securing a sustainable future for one of the city’s most iconic buildings. To deliver this vision the proposals have concentrated on enhancing the significance of the medieval Guildhall while revealing further the narrative of the buildings which have grown up around it over more than 500 years. The resulting scheme establishes the Guildhall's original role at the heart of the commercial life of the city, as the home base for a wide variety of firms.
By retaining the use of the Council Chamber and enhancing public access, direct links between the City’s governance, commerce, and culture are not just acknowledged, but remain intrinsically bound together, for the future benefit of the City in this most historic of locations.
The project will secure the future of the Guildhall complex, through the delivery of an economically viable and sustainable scheme. It will deliver a comprehensive (once in a 100 year) refurbishment of the complex together with new build interventions as necessary to re-purpose the complex for its new use, adopting best practice conservation principles in terms of the approach to enhancing and better revealing the significance of the heritage assets whilst incorporating the practicalities of modern servicing and functionality.
There is a core requirement for modern flexible office space and the associated provision of multipurpose space to suit a variety of potential uses as co-working/ conferencing/meeting and events and exhibition space. The Guildhall itself will be comprehensively refurbished to improve its usability; specifically including new heating and electrical services. The complex will also accommodate elements of commercial space to accommodate a restaurant and cafe bar.
The site contains a series of intimate, linked public spaces, connected by small “ginells” and the proposals include the continuation of this language, to create a new riverside courtyard / garden across two levels of river front terraces, while improving public access and the general quality of the public realm throughout the complex.