Historic London courthouse beautifully brought back to order - Colliers International | London

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  1. September 2017

  2. Historic London courthouse beautifully brought back to order

    26 September 2017
    A grand, former courthouse near Clerkenwell Green, once had a reputation for dishing out some the harshest sentences in the city. After falling into disrepair, it finally has its own tale of redemption…
    The Old Sessions House, a 35,000 sq ft Palladian-style grade II* listed property built in 1779, has been launched back to the market as one of the most intriguing new sites to meet, eat, drink and work in the capital following a sympathetic redevelopment costing close to £15 million.

    Brothers Ted and Oliver Grebelius, at Satila Studios, purchased the property in 2013 with the intention of bringing the landmark property into the 21st century as a practical, yet beautiful, all-day destination, with a mix of public and private spaces.

    The main building spans three floors and includes 20-meter-tall grand dome modelled after the Pantheon in Rome, two old courtrooms and former judges’ rooms spaces. These spaces will host a principal tenant – either a unique headquarters building or a members’ club concept – that will be carefully selected to complement the space and the surrounding neighbourhood. 

    On the top floor, the former judges’ dining room will become an intimate restaurant, terrace and wine bar, which will be run by the Grebelius brothers. 

    On the ground floor, the former dungeons will become part of the public offering, hosting an eclectic mix of food and drink vendors amongst the prison cells remains, including cell bars, prisoners’ staircases and Portland stone cornices.

    The restoration has taken five years, overseen by architects, Feilden+Mawson. Expert craftspeople from across the UK have been brought in to ensure that the building’s historic features have been either preserved or painstakingly replicated in keeping with the building’s opulence. The patina of aged stone and plasterwork throughout is a reminder of the building’s long, storied history. The cast iron railings are original, as are the authentic 19th century hallway lanterns. Meanwhile, handmade doors mirror the style of the originals and custom-made Victorian and Georgian fireplaces dot the space. Touches of antique brass and bronze has been used throughout for greater majesty.  

    The result is an inspiring space, which helped the building to land a coveted agreement to host Burberry’s latest show “Here we are”, a major photographic exhibition curated by president and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey in September 2017.

    Only now the restoration is complete are we inviting potential tenants to peak into this historic gem, seeking rents in the region of £65 per sq ft for retail and leisure space and £75 per sq ft for office/private members space. 

    For further information please contact the joint leasing agents Colliers and Crossland Otter Hunt

    The Author

    Michael Raibin
    020 7101 2020
    07880 795 679
    Michael.Raibin@colliers.com