ISG is underway with a £6.2 million project to redevelop the 19th century Grade II Listed Princess Buildings in Halifax, West Yorkshire for Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council.
The scheme forms part of the Council’s plans in Halifax Town Centre to reduce its property estate, modernise and drive long-term efficiencies through smarter working practices.
The Princess Buildings will be transformed to provide contemporary, majority open plan office accommodation for council staff. A comprehensively redesigned interior will provide additional capacity, helping centralise key facilities and further enhance the council’s operational efficiency.
ISG is working in partnership with English Heritage to protect and conserve the architecturally listed features of the historic buildings. More recent additions to the property, built in 1858, have been carefully demolished as part of the project, with thoughtfully designed extensions to be added, that sit sympathetically in the historical context and provide modern office accommodation for council staff.
Carefully stripping out the buildings to a shell and core state, ISG will rationalise space and unify floor levels. A comprehensive mechanical and electrical upgrade sees the contractor remove all existing services and replace with modern, highly-efficient systems, that will dramatically reduce the running costs of the buildings and provide the advanced data infrastructure required for modern local government.
Key phases of the project have involved the careful removal of two modern towers and a 1960s office extension to the side of the original property. The logistical challenges of a busy central location and a landlocked site have meant that modern demolition techniques and equipment could not be used, requiring the two towers to be carefully demolished using hand-held equipment only. Historic internal features in the former banking hall, including glass lay lights, ornate ceilings, decorative plaster covings and mosaic floor tiles will all be retained and repaired, with the original bank vaults in the basement and an early lift also restored.
Externally, the Princess Buildings’ stone façade will be cleaned and repaired, sash windows restored and ISG will carefully remove roof slates to enable the installation of modern insulation to enhance the thermal performance of the property. The new build elements include a replacement three-storey steel frame office extension with matching Ashlar stone façade, and in place of the demolished tower elements, ISG will construct a three-storey link building.
Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, said: “Our latest project for Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council highlights the broad spectrum of skills and expertise required for such a highly-complex and logistically challenging heritage building redevelopment.
“This is an ambitious scheme to reinvigorate an existing property asset that was performing poorly for the council and its staff, providing the opportunity to turn around the fortunes of this iconic building, preserving its historical integrity, whilst making it fit for purpose for modern local government requirements.”