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A Labour Of Love – Bromley Old Town Hall


Designed to bring business and investment into the local community, the redevelopment of the iconic Bromley Old Town Hall has proved a huge success.  Restored to its former glory during 2021/22, the building is now a busy hub with 73,000 sq ft of modern Clockwise flexible co-worker offices, a 23-bed, quirky boutique hotel, Brama and a Dorothy & Marshall Restaurant.

As main contractor for the project, WFC had our work cut out. The building had remained empty since 2009, deemed a heritage write-off due to water ingress issues and disuse. We had to find innovative solutions to address these issues while maintaining the heritage integrity of the structure. Our team conducted thorough investigations, implemented effective waterproofing measures, and collaborated with structural engineers to ensure the building’s long-term stability.

The project required close collaboration, scheduling, and effective communication to coordinate multiple trades, including client direct trades with our own works package and programme.

The base build contractor faced delays, which had a direct impact on our own programme. To mitigate these delays, we had to re-sequence our works. We worked closely with the client and other subcontractors to adjust the schedule, allowing for sectional completion of areas to accommodate the ongoing challenges, ensuring the project could progress despite the setbacks.

To manage multiple trades effectively, we established a robust communication network, holding regular meetings with all stakeholders involved. This ensured that everyone was updated on the project progress, addressed any potential clashes, and facilitated smooth coordination between trades.

To overcome the water ingress issues, we collaborated closely with specialists in heritage restoration and waterproofing. We utilized modern waterproofing technologies while ensuring their compatibility with the heritage structure. By carefully addressing the source of the water ingress and implementing effective solutions, we were able to safeguard the building and preserve its historical value.

Before and after corridor ?

Restoration of some of the outstanding original design features included four giant fluted concrete columns** clad in green marble, restoration to the original terrazzo floor, and to stone architrave and fireplaces. New modern finishes were seamlessly integrated with the existing features to create a modern, yet characterful working environment.

**Columns ?  This photo is to come – very good one

Extensive heritage restoration was painstakingly undertaken by our specialist conservation sub-contractor. The renovation includes preserving and reinstating the wood panelling in the old Courthouse, the former Council Chambers, former chapel (which had been open to the elements for some years), and the old council committee rooms.

Before and after – Courthouse ?

The original decorative lime plaster was in poor condition following years of neglect but was restored to its former glory, Similarly, the heritage paintwork was expertly bought back to life.  Many of the intricate and ornate original mouldings were also damaged or missing, and we engaged with British Mouldings to replicate and repair these key elements.

The new paintwork is indistinguishable from the old in the original Old Courthouse with its high vaulted roof.  Below the restaurant, the toilets are constructed in the old holding cells.  The original stairs up to the dock are still in place and the old door to the safe remains for posterity.  Many of the original feature chandeliers were retained and refurbished to ensure they can be enjoyed for many years to come.

There was complete replacement of the entire mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. This included new main switchboards and distribution and centralised plant for heating and hot water.

On a high note, interior designers Fusion Interiors Group (FIG) won the award for ‘Best Mixed Use Interior’, Kent for Bromley Old Town Hall, in the 30th UK Property Awards 2023/24, part of International Property Awards.

We are awarding ourselves a gold star for the project which stands as a testament to our commitment to preserving heritage while delivering a high-quality fit out.  Despite the challenges and the setbacks, our team successfully completed this major project by employing effective coordination, communication, flexibility, and innovative solutions.

With a 47-year track record of delivering high-quality main contractor services, the team at WFC believe that its role as a fit-out contractor is to support the objectives of its clients and their architects and designers.  We have the expertise and resources to complete complex refurbishment and fit-out contracts to a high standard, working in collaboration with our clients. Our aim is to make the best use of client budgets and to complete projects on time, however challenging the timescale.

Call Steve Howle on 07740 763 334 or email stevehowle@wfccontractors.com to discuss your project.