Belfast City Hall Restoration

Belfast City Hall was designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas and completed in 1906. It is a Grade A listed building and the civic seat of Belfast City Council.

The building, constructed in Portland Stone, has been described as a magnificent Edwardian wedding cake and was built to reflect the granting of Belfast’s city status by Queen Victoria in 1888.

Internally the building houses the City Council Chamber, a great hall, banqueting halls, the Lord Mayor’s suite and Councillors’ offices, along with support facilities. RPS was appointed as Structural Engineers on an architect led team.

The restoration and upgrade of the City Hall was the largest project undertaken in the City Hall since its opening. The work involved:

Complete re-roofing and replacement of all lead work and provision of safety access walkways across the roof.

Asbestos removal and complete re-servicing of the building, replacing heating, electrics, lighting, fire detection and alarms, IT facilities.

Restoration of all public areas and structural upgrade works.

Complete redecoration of all areas including the dome.

Re-ordering of ancillary areas to create quality councillors’ accommodation, public exhibition, cafe area and central reception area.

Upgrade of disabled access provision within the building.

The work was initially planned to be carried out in eight phases with a contract period of 36 months, but following an analysis of the costs involved in decanting staff eight times and maintaining services in all areas of the building, it was agreed with the Council to carry out the major works in one phase reducing the contract period to 18-20 months.

The coordination of all consultants’ information was crucial to ensure the integrity of the main public spaces was retained whilst all modern I.T. and servicing requirements were met.

The City Hall restoration was achieved on programme in December 2008 with completion of the final works in August 2009.