The Painted Hall in Greenwich has won a national award.
The RIBA National Awards are given to buildings across the UK in recognition of their significant contribution to architecture.
The Painted Hall recently reopened following a two-year National Lottery Funded conservation project which has brought its magnificent painted interior vividly back to life.
Known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the UK’, the Painted Hall is a masterpiece of English baroque art, with a vast decorated interior covering 4,000 square meters.
The conservation work was part of a major transformation project by Hugh Broughton Architects, in partnership with the college’s surveyor of the fabric, Martin Ashley Architects, which reversed years of decay alongside the restoration of the King William Undercroft beneath the Painted Hall, to house a new café, shop and interpretation gallery.
The Painted Hall is the centrepiece of the Old Royal Naval College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren as a ceremonial dining room for what was then the new Royal Hospital for Seaman.
The paintings celebrate England’s naval power and mercantile prosperity, as well as its newly installed protestant monarchy.
Successive monarchs William III and Mary II, Anne and George I join a cast of hundreds of figures, mythological, allegorical, historical and contemporary on the ceiling.
William Palin, Painted Hall Project Director and Conservation Director at the Old Royal Naval College, said: “We are delighted that the Painted Hall project has now been awarded a RIBA National Award.
“This hugely complex and challenging project required beautiful design solutions as well as meticulous attention to detail. Hugh Broughton Architects, with support from Martin Ashley Architects, approached the challenge with imagination and sensitivity, developing a deep understanding of this unique building and perfectly judging the balance between new design and conservation.
To enrich the experience, visitors are offered a new multimedia guide and expert talks and tours throughout the day so they can learn more about the history of the Painted Hall and its meaning.
The incredible chance find of the remains of Henry VII’s palace by workmen during the restoration work has been successfully been incorporated into the space, further enriching the visitor experience.