Insall is working with Barts Heritage to deliver a masterplan to revive the North Wing and the King Henry VIII Gatehouse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in Smithfield, whilst ensuring that the buildings’ social and historical significance is retained.
Founded in 1123, St Bartholomew’s Hospital is the oldest hospital in England. The Grade I listed North Wing is the centrepiece of the Hospital and dates from 1732 when the hospital was rebuilt by the renowned architect James Gibbs. Originally constructed for ceremonial, administrative and fundraising purposes, the interior of the North Wing contains some of the most historically significant spaces in London: the Great Hall and the Hogarth Stair, which is lined with canvas paintings by William Hogarth.
Since being saved from closure in the 1990s, the Hospital has undergone considerable change, with a range of new buildings erected within the tight confines of its site in Smithfield. The North Wing and Gatehouse proposals aim to reinforce this sustainable reworking by enhancing connections to the local community, together with a series of repairs and sensitive internal alterations to enable their long-term sustainable use.
The North Wing proposals includes a renovated St Bartholomew’s Hospital Museum and Archives together with a new reception area for visitors. The reception rooms to the upper floors are to be refurbished to provide fully accessible, rentable office space and function rooms, thereby providing a means to generate valuable income to ensure the continued maintenance of the building and its economic viability.