Well l never!
I was only saying a couple of days ago how dull, dark and unwelcoming the reception area within Bath’s Guildhall is and then – visiting today – l noticed a small patch of paint ‘sampler’ on the wall.
My suspicions were confirmed when l checked through the weekly list of planning applications to B&NES and came across the following.
According to the Heritage Statement – attached to the application:
“The Guildhall reception alteration project is part of B&NES Council’s modernisation program to
improve and enhance their facilities and services to meet contemporary 21st Century standards and
requirements for both staff and community.
The idea is to create an inviting and accessible entrance area for all users of the building. By bringing the ‘old and new’ together with appropriate use of both furniture, digital display units and enhancing the lighting and a colour scheme that is more appropriate for the space.”
And further on ……..
The alteration works proposed are the:
Installation and relocation of a new reception desk. The new reception desk will be relocated
to the north west corner, adjacent to the main entrance doors. This will have
a number of benefits including visual improvement resulting in greater subservience and
relationship to the internal architecture, and increased security by utilising access to an
existing room to the rear of the proposed reception. A new replacement reception desk is
also proposed and utilises a faux white stone material (Corian) of a simple and elegant
design that better relates to the context.
Installation of a digital display, it is proposed to locate this in the area where the current
reception desk is located. This will be for the use of Heritage services to provide information
on current events at the Guildhall and marketing available spaces to hold events. This will be
a more sustainable way of marketing the Guildhall without the use of ‘one off’ banners/
Enhance existing security measures. Being an important iconic building in Bath the possibility
of a serious security breach is to be considered. At present there is a security guard posted
externally by the main entrance doors, however there are limited provisions of safety to
staff and the public within the building in the event of a challenging situation. It is proposed
to install a ‘lockdown’ security system so that in the event of an emergency the receptionist
can activate the system via a button below the new reception desk which will automatically
lock the double doors on either side of the reception area.
PS. Maybe they will consider re-grouting the external steps while they are at it!?