IDP appointed to deliver transformational works at St Mary's Guild Hall

6th October 2020

We’re pleased to share we have been appointed to lead the design team to deliver the transformational works to the historic Grade I listed St Mary’s Guildhall in Coventry. Working alongside Coventry City Council and Historic England, our team secured planning and listed building consent which will see the restoration of the original 14th century kitchen, which is one of only five medieval kitchens intact in the UK. The scheme will provide greater access for all through the sensitive design solutions by providing a new lift from the medieval kitchen to the Great Hall, alongside a new spiral staircase from the Great Hall up to the Minstrel’s Gallery which will be linked to the Council House via a new staircase at high level within the medieval kitchen. A new modern kitchen is to be added to the rear of the building to provide all catering requirements for events within the Great Hall, Medieval Kitchen, Courtyard, Undercroft and the Muniment Room.

A new heritage trial has been developed and integrated into the main design works to allow visitors to interact and interpret the spaces within St Mary’s through a variety of technology including digital interpretation via a Tablet tour. As part of the works the prestigious and historically significant medieval Coventry Tapestry will be restored and installed in a new environmentally controlled display case.

The project provides a great opportunity to promote the Guildhall on the national and international stage, as Coventry’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, Councillor Jim O’Boyle said ‘It has often been described as Coventry’s best kept secret. It can’t afford to be, it needs to be internationally known and visited and that’s what this scheme is all about.’

Our team’s goal has always been to ensure sensitive and considered design, increasing the heritage value of the site and enabling visitors to relive the medieval experience of such a unique, rich and historical Hall.

The project programme ensures an opening of the finished Guildhall during Coventry’s City of Culture year in 2021, with construction work due to commence later this month.

The project is being funded through the Cultural Capital Investment Fund, which is resourced from Coventry City Council, Arts Council England and Get Britain Building Fund, with the National Lottery Heritage Fund granting development funding including exploratory work on the Coventry Tapestry.