The scheme forms part of the council’s plan to reduce its property estate in Halifax town centre.
The 19th century Princess Buildings, which used to house a bank, are being turned into new open plan office accommodation for council staff.
ISG is working with English Heritage to conserve the architecturally listed features of the historic buildings. Historic internal features in the former banking hall, including glass lay lights, ornate ceilings, decorative plaster covings and mosaic floor tiles will all be retained and repaired, with the original bank vaults in the basement and an early lift also restored. More recent additions to the property, built in 1858, have been demolished as part of the project. New extensions will be added in their place to provide modern office accommodation for council staff.
Stripping out the buildings to a shell and core state, ISG will rationalise space and unify floor levels. Services are being replaced to reduce the running costs of the buildings and provide the advanced data infrastructure required for modern local government.
Key phases of the project have involved the removal of two modern towers and a 1960s office extension to the side of the original property. Logistical constraints meant that the towers had to be demolished using hand-held equipment only.
Outside, the stone façade will be cleaned and repaired, sash windows restored and ISG will remove roof slates to enable installation of insulation. The new build elements include a replacement three-storey steel frame office extension with matching Ashlar stone façade. In place of the demolished tower elements, ISG will construct a three-storey link building.
ISG regional managing director Danny Murray described the project as “highly complex and logistically challenging”.
He said: “This is an ambitious scheme to reinvigorate an existing property asset that was performing poorly for the council and its staff, providing the opportunity to turn around the fortunes of this iconic building, preserving its historical integrity, whilst making it fit for purpose for modern local government requirements.”