• Image: Old Sessions House Slide 01
  • Image: Old Sessions House Slide 02

Old Sessions House is one of the most important historic buildings in the London Borough of Islington and is the dominant presence on Clerkenwell Green.

It was built in 1780 in a Palladian style to the designs of Thomas Rogers, County Surveyor but has since been insensitively subdivided, poorly maintained and for some 100 years, has not been accessible to the public.

The centre piece of Feilden+Mawson's proposals is the restoration of the form of the historic court, lost in the 1920s.

This restoration will involve removing a mezzaninefloor that cut the court room in half horizontally, the removal of a built up floor to retrieve the original courtroom level, the reinstatement of the 'magistrates bench', the reinstatement of a balcony at 2nd linking to galleries at either side, and the reinstatement of classical ornamentation in the Ionic order.

Among the substantial heritage benefits proposed in the scheme are the restoration of much of the fa├žade, repair of stonework, repair of stucco, restoration of windows, reinstatement of the cast iron railings lost during WWII, reinstatement of the stone paving, the reinstatement of some 23 fireplaces within the historic rooms. The building will also have a new roof terrace and swimming pool.

Two separate mix use schemes have received consent, one for a scheme based around a private members club use, and one for a scheme based around office use.

Considerable discussion has taken place with English Heritage and Islington's conservation officers, both of whom were supportive of the proposals.