Estates

Rainy Hall restoration

An eight month project to restore and upgrade Rainy Hall has recently been completed by the Estates Department.

Rainy Hall restoration

Work began in September 2018 to restore the School of Divinity’s gothic style dining hall in New College. The work was completed in mid-May, ahead of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly which is held annually at New College and attended by over 700 commissioners. 

The Small Works and Minor Projects team within the Estates Department focused on the clients requirements when renovating the pivotal room within New College. Over the years the well-used Rainy Hall had suffered from wear and tear and required an upgrade.

The project included:

  • Replacing the old wooden pews with new oak tables and upholstered oak chairs
  • Restoration of the original timber panelling to the walls and ceiling
  • Installing new internal lighting. The new system has six settings for different occasions including the option to spotlight on the podium or the portraits
  • Installing a commercial kitchen by removing some archive space, this will allow for more flexibility with events moving forward
  • Increasing the accessibility, we have upgraded the chairlift up to Rainy Hall. The original timber doors have been refurbished and electronic push pad controls have been added to ease access to the hall
  • Upgrading the audio visual system including speakers around the room
  • Upgrading the Postgrad rooms
  • Modernised the fire alarm system including smoke detection system in the attic directly above the hall.

The project also involved carrying out intricate French polish paint work with the ceiling and crests being painted by hand. This labour intensive work is now an unusual process within the University however it was important to in order to preserve the Grade A listed building.