Congress House Refurbishment

Hugh Broughton Architects, London, 2003


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Exterior, south-east corner 

James Brittain (website)     Download Original

  • Exterior, south-east corner    
  • Front facade on Great Russell Street, north-east corner    
  • The main entrance with access ramp    
  • Foyer    
  • Conference centre foyer    
  • Congress Hall with reconfigured stage    
  • New servery within restored Marble Hall    
  • Fifth floor interconnected meeting rooms with original light fittings and timbers carefully restored – white marks new work    
  • A conference facility within an office shell    
  • Female WCs with architect-designed cubicle doors    
  • General secretary’s meeting room    
  • General secretary    
  • Lower ground floor plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Fifth floor plan    
  • Section    
  • Model showing polite neighbourliness at the front, on Great Russell Street, with a stark contrast in the massing on the south-east corner    
  • Architect David de Rieu Aberdeen between TUC officials    
  • Original opening ceremony; the marble slabs were later detached and have been replaced by mosaic. The hexagons are part of the space-frame roof to the Congress Hall    
  • The council chamber    
  • Ramp details    
  • Ramp and handrail details    

Refurbishment of Grade II* listed Congress House, one of the most distinguished public buildings of the 1950s

The Trades Union Congress Memorial Building was completed in 1957. After 40 years of use, parts of the building were beginning to show their age and poor conference facilities and staff amenities contributed to the centre failing to pay for its upkeep. Rather than relocate, the TUC decided to invest in the refurbishment of the building.

Externally the changes are minimal, mainly involving improvements to accessibility. Internally this ongoing project tackles the main hall and other conference/meeting areas, the principal public and circulation spaces, the upgrading of offices and the creation of a new apartment for the TUC’s general secretary.

Retained original fabric has been carefully restored, all the services have been upgraded, access has been improved and interventions have been planned in a contemporary manner, with lightness and transparency as key themes in the project. Due to the Grade II* listing the approach was developed in close collaboration with English Heritage and Camden council.


  • Begun: 1996
  • Completed: 2003
  • Floor area: 14,355m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £5.8M
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate Form of Contract 98
  • Address: Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS, United Kingdom

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