the building works

The parquet floor in the historic bookstore and Conversation Room has been revealed and restored.

The parquet floor in the historic bookstore and Conversation Room has been revealed and restored.

Tours of the building throughout the building project - here we discuss the damage that occurred because of major water ingress.

Tours of the building throughout the building project - here we discuss the damage that occurred because of major water ingress.

When the building works began we weren’t expecting to see the extent of the damage to the roof, which had been patched up in the 1970s. As a consequence, the entire roof was replaced.

When the building works began we weren’t expecting to see the extent of the damage to the roof, which had been patched up in the 1970s. As a consequence, the entire roof was replaced.

Laying the new slate

Laying the new slate

The new slate should last another 50 to 100 years

The new slate should last another 50 to 100 years

The upper floor was originally home to the Librarian, and in 1959 was converted to house the Erith Museum. The space was dark, which made it an odd area to reimagine.

The upper floor was originally home to the Librarian, and in 1959 was converted to house the Erith Museum. The space was dark, which made it an odd area to reimagine.

During the building works, we found that the original window lights had been bricked up and a new wall created, presumably to give wall space for museum exhibitions. These windows have now been reinstated.

During the building works, we found that the original window lights had been bricked up and a new wall created, presumably to give wall space for museum exhibitions. These windows have now been reinstated.

The Conversation Room - originally a space for discussion and debate - had been completely reordered housing toilets and storage spaces.

The Conversation Room - originally a space for discussion and debate - had been completely reordered housing toilets and storage spaces.

We restored this space to its original layout, and repaired the walls and window and restored the parquet floor.

We restored this space to its original layout, and repaired the walls and window and restored the parquet floor.

The bookstore and filing room were the most challenging spaces - the smell was repulsive owing to severe rot, it was incredibly dark (as these were always traditionally back of house spaces) and the paint scheme and layout of the spaces were confusing.

The bookstore and filing room were the most challenging spaces - the smell was repulsive owing to severe rot, it was incredibly dark (as these were always traditionally back of house spaces) and the paint scheme and layout of the spaces were confusing.

Works were carried out to make this space suitable for a cafe and bar. This involved removing later addition stud walls, removing mould and rot, revealing the parquet flooring and installing new services.

Works were carried out to make this space suitable for a cafe and bar. This involved removing later addition stud walls, removing mould and rot, revealing the parquet flooring and installing new services.

We also wanted to explore how we could create more light in the space, as this would now be a principal part of the building. We decided to look at whether we would be able to drop the windows down to create new doors into the space, creating a much closer connection with what will become a new community garden.

We also wanted to explore how we could create more light in the space, as this would now be a principal part of the building. We decided to look at whether we would be able to drop the windows down to create new doors into the space, creating a much closer connection with what will become a new community garden.