The Palace was used by the Bishops of London for some 1300 years, until the Council took a long lease on the building in the 1970’s. By the 1990s, major parts of the Palace remained unused and the major public rooms were dilapidated. The roofs were also in poor condition and the services were, in places, dangerous. The Council decided to embark on a major project to restore the building and to provide it with a sustainable future.
The practice’s work focused on the east range including the fine ground floor rooms and Museum. The centrepiece of the project was undoubtedly the restoration of Bishop Sherlock’s badly damaged mid-17th century dining room. On the first floor, the many redundant bedrooms were restored and converted to office use. A new spiral stair was inserted to satisfy access and fire escape requirements. The building was re-roofed in slate and lead, and completely reserviced. The project has revitalised the Palace, which is now a popular destination with a full diary of bookings for commercial events in addition to a busy educational and exhibition programme.