The Boilerhouse 

Cartwright Pickard were very professional and positive to work with from the outset. Instead of trying to replicate the Victorian building, the Boilerhouse successfully marries the modern design with the historic character of the building and they work incredibly well together.

Bob O’Keefe, Vice Principal and Dean of Management and Economics, Royal Holloway University of London

Client  Royal Holloway, University of London
Location  Egham, Surrey
Completion  2016
Cost  £3m


  • RIBA stages 1-6
  • Architectural design
  • Consultation with Historic England
  • Listed building consent


  • Civic Trust Regional Award
The Boilerhouse

The Boilerhouse project has created a new café pavilion and event space in the courtyard of an existing heritage building, and refurbished an original stable block wing into a new seating and servery area. The Boilerhouse’s original structures include two tall brick chimneys which, with specialist lighting, afford the new building a sense of drama and tie the building to its context. The complex has been completed with courtyard and landscaping upgrades creating improved external spaces and enhancing the setting of the buildings.

Falling within the curtilage of the Grade I Listed Founders Building, this subtle intervention involved detailed consultation with Historic England to ensure existing historic materials were protected and enhanced through a complementary palette of new materials and architectural form.

The Boilerhouse
The Boilerhouse
The Boilerhouse

To meet a demanding programme and complexities of an occupied student campus, an offsite manufactured kit of parts was used, comprising a glulam timber structure with a curving sculptural, saddle-like copper roof. The new pavilion is a bold but sympathetic design that compliments the existing courtyard. A flitched timber and steel superstructure with stainless steel braced bays and a facade of glazing enables the pavilion to sit lightly within its courtyard setting, expressing the warmth of the original brick courtyard boundary wall.

Natural ventilation and the roof design contributes to an occupant controlled environmental strategy. Underfloor heating is used along with natural daylight, acoustic internal control is achieved through the soffit treatment, specialist lighting and a brise-soleil system are used to reduce heat and solar gain.

The project was delivered to a fast-paced timeline of six months post stage 2, with a successful Listed Building Consent planning process within 1-2 months, including liaison with Historic England and the Victorian Society.

The Boilerhouse
The Boilerhouse

Photography Hundven-Clements Photography