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A nice paint job

There is something surprisingly appropriate about Hugh Broughton Architects being appointed to restore the painted hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

There is something surprisingly appropriate about Hugh Broughton Architects being appointed to restore the painted hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. 

Hugh is still best known (and probably always will be) for the Halley Research Station in Antarctica. Which is literally almost a world away. Yet I heard him give one of his inspiring talks about the project at a dinner in the painted hall, the incongruity of the setting adding to the excitement.

But what does he know about this kind of work? Well, quite a bit. He will be adding a visitor centre, using the expertise he developed for example at Maidstone Museum. And he has worked with old buildings, albeit of different periods, such as Maidstone Museum and the new home of the IStructE. The specialist painting conservation will of course be done by highly trained specialist conservators, as would have been the case whichever architect won the job.

And what this shows more than anything is that an intelligent architect can do intelligent architecture in a wide range of circumstances. They just need to be given the chance. And Hugh Broughton, more than most, has made his own chances.

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