It is understood that this building was originally constructed in 1871 by a private company for use as a place of public assembly. It was designed for a variety of functions and meetings as well as theatrical performances. It was also used by the Boy’s High School and for Petty Sessions and County Court hearings.
Subsequently the building has been used by Surrey County Council as a library store and also offices for the Archaeological Unit. During this time a mezzanine floor was added. The building was unused from 1998 onwards.
The conversion works will see the building converted into sixteen affordable flats for a local housing association and a retail unit on the ground floor.
The external walls of the building are constructed using load-bearing masonry with elaborate detailing and several different colours of brickwork to give a strong visual impact. The roof is of slate and is supported on a timber structure.
The mezzanine floor has been removed and two new floors added within the original structure, both with adequate headroom for modern needs. An original staircase at the front of the building has been removed and a new central stair constructed to serve all the flats.
The original timber windows have been removed and new aluminium double-glazed windows of similar opening styles installed. There are new window openings installed at third floor level cut between existing brick pilasters.
At third floor level the bottom chords of the original timber trusses have been left exposed as a feature of the original structure.
At ground floor level the new retail unit retains the original main entrance and front door.
A design-and-build project completed in April 2011 with a construction cost of £1.7m.
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