Black Cultural Archives

Brixton, SW2

Black Cultural ArchivesBlack Cultural Archives
Edmund Sumner
Black Cultural ArchivesBlack Cultural Archives
Edmund Sumner
Black Cultural ArchivesBlack Cultural Archives
Edmund Sumner


Right from the start, the Black Cultural Archives restoration and construction project was a challenge, after Rooff took over the site after the previous contractor had gone into administration, having already commenced some of the enabling works.

The project required complete refurbishment of the Grade II listed Raleigh Hall and the construction of a new British Standard rated archive facility together with community space and a gallery.

Extensive repair works involved underpinning and lowering the existing basement floor level, demolition and rebuilding of very fragile structural elements and replacement with new load bearing masonry. A full refurbishment of the building also took place including lime render to the internal and external façade de-tail. Construction of the new archive facility also required provision of a fully controlled environment with critical airtightness and humidity control measures, to protect the nationally important archive materials.

Rooff’s project staff worked very closely with the appointed client‘s team to identify value engineering efficiencies in order to achieve the clients aspirations whilst meeting their original budget.

The main savings were created by proposing alternative solutions to mechanical and electrical systems, via our supply chain as well as sourcing alternative materials. However, the original design concept for the re-furbished building and the new archive has not been altered or overall quality reduced.

The scheme won a 2015 Civic Trust Special Award for Community Impact and Engagement, The NLA Conservation and Retrofit award and the overall NLA Building of the Year award.


London Borough of Lambeth


Pringle Richards Sharratt


NEC (EEC) Option B