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Our heritage and community buildings are the cornerstones of our history, telling stories of our past and providing a sense of identity and continuity. At Chisholm & Winch, we understand the importance of preserving these invaluable assets. Through meaningful restoration, careful refurbishment and necessary upgrades, we maintain the original craftsmanship while ensuring these buildings meet modern standards and remain functional for future generations.

Understanding the value of heritage buildings

Our heritage buildings are more than just old structures; they are tangible links to our past, representing historical events, architectural styles and cultural significance. Preserving these buildings maintains the character and charm of our communities, fostering a sense of pride and belonging among residents. 

Heritage is not just about grand, listed buildings. It also encompasses local community centres where generations have gathered, and a retirement village founded over a hundred years ago to provide housing for ‘the needy poor in their old age.’ These buildings have witnessed community life for centuries and continue to be relevant today.

Restoration: Breathing new life into a building

Restoration work is about returning a building to its original state, often using traditional materials and methods. The process involves extensive research and expertise to understand the building’s history, original design and any preservation regulations or guidelines that must be adhered to. This often involves sourcing traditional materials like lime mortar instead of cement, or hand-crafted tiles to match the originals.

Refurbishment: Enhancing functionality while respecting history

Refurbishment involves updating a building’s interior and exterior to improve functionality and meet current standards while preserving its original character. This balance between old and new ensures the building continues to remain usable.

Upgrades: Integrating modern solutions while respecting the past

Preserving our buildings isn’t just about making them look good. It’s about ensuring they remain useful by adapting spaces to meet modern needs without compromising their original character. Upgrading buildings involves integrating modern solutions to improve safety, accessibility and energy efficiency. Elements like heating, lighting and internet connectivity are essential for today’s users. 

The Chisholm & Winch approach

At Chisholm & Winch, we have extensive experience in preserving heritage buildings. Our projects include refurbishment work at The Royal Opera House, an upgrade contract at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, renovation and restoration works at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the complete refurbishment of Whiteley Retirement Village for the Whiteley Homes Trust.

Respect for history and a commitment to quality are at the centre of our approach to building preservation. At Chisolm & Winch, our successful projects are based on the following principles: 

  • Thorough research: Understanding the building’s history, original architecture, and materials is crucial for any preservation project
  • Skilled craftsmanship: Our dedicated and experienced team uses traditional techniques alongside modern methods to ensure the highest work standards
  • Collaboration: Collaborating with the client, contractors and architect is essential. We also partner with conservation teams to ensure compliance, and structural engineers to confirm the stability and safety of the structure
  • Sustainable practices: We prioritise sustainability in our projects, using eco-friendly materials and methods to reduce environmental impact whenever possible.

We employed this approach during the complete restoration, refurbishment, and upgrade of a grade-II former Temperance Hall in Lewisham, Southeast London, transforming it into a worship and community hub for the Tab Church. This listed building required a sensitive approach and close collaboration with the client, architect, planning authorities, conservation department and English Heritage.

Our work involved meticulously restoring original features, matching new materials to the original aesthetics, and creating new spaces including, a cafeteria, communal kitchens and areas and administration facilities. 

We stripped and rebuilt the roof, carefully restoring and reinstating old trusses where possible, along with original slates, and installing new insulation throughout to provide thermal performance that exceeds building regulations requirements. A full BMS system, together with ventilation, cooling, and underfloor heating, provide a modern, energy efficient environment.

Ensuring a legacy for future generations

Preserving the past through considerate restoration, refurbishment, and upgrades of our heritage and community buildings is a responsibility we take seriously at Chisholm & Winch. By breathing new life into these structures, we’re ensuring they remain a central part of our history and community for years to come.