RIBA Regional Awards 2014: East
Finchingfield Guildhall, Braintree
Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects for Finchingfield Guildhall Trust
Contract £1.25m. GIA 295m2
Built in 1470 by a Guild of priests to educate the boys of the village, the Guildhall has been a place of learning for over five centuries. Its postwar restoration was of poor quality and in 2008 a trust was set up to oversee the stripping back of the higgledy-piggledy oak structure and subsequent uncovering of past layers.
Every part of the mortice, tenon and peg structure has been sensitively restored, with new community functions of shop, library and placed within. The main hall has been restored to its full splendour, replete with burn marks on the timber from the long tapers that lit it. A ‘beautifully judged renovation’, said the judges.