Founders Reading Room

The original construction of the Founders building began in 1874, and was completed in 1881. The building and the college were a £600,000 “gift to the nation” by the entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Holloway. The building was designed by the architect William Henry Crossland and inspired by the Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France.

Quinn London was contracted to complete the internal refurbishment of the Founder’s reading rooms, and to return the rooms to their original setting. The project included cleaning and repairs to the ornate stonework, stone cornices, stone feature mouldings, and stone window surrounds. All the stone cleaning and repairs were sympathetic to the heritage of the building, and non-aggressive to ensure that the original patina of the stone was retained. The ornate ceilings, and walls, were cleaned back to their original finishes removing the build-up of dust and soot accumulated over the buildings 137 year history.

Following the removal of an existing non heritage staircase, the stairwell was infilled to match the adjacent Greek Key style Oak Heritage flooring. The Mechanical & Electrical services were all up- graded to modern standards. All redundant services were stripped out, and replaced with period style sockets and lighting, were designed and installed to enhance the unique features of the rooms.

The cabinetry of the Reading rooms, both fixed and freestanding were cleaned and restored. Extensive repairs were carried out to the original flooring, and the floors were completely refinished throughout the four Reading Rooms.

The works have sympathetically redecorated and restored the Reading Rooms back to their original design.




Royal Holloway University of London