12:00 16 August 2022

Architects have drawn up plans to transform two meeting rooms in historic Ipswich Town Hall into a romantic wedding venue.

Nicholas Jacob Architects plans to update and renovate the Pickwick Room and adjacent Reading Room to make them “much more attractive” for wedding ceremonies.

Once the renovations are complete, the ‘beautiful’ Grade II listed building – which was built in 1868 – will take over from St Peter House as the town’s official registry office.

Suffolk County Council announced last year that it was closing St Peter House. He hopes a regenerated Town Hall can offer couples wishing a civil ceremony an impressive setting in the heart of Ipswich.

Nicholas Jacob Architects will update and renovate the Pickwick Room and adjoining Reading Room at Ipswich Town Hall to make them much more attractive for wedding ceremonies
– Credit: Nicholas Jacob Architects

Principal Architect Hugh Bunbury said: “It is exciting to design a new interior to complement this beautiful building and to create something special for married couples.

“We are pleased to help Ipswich Borough Council complete this redevelopment in a short period of time.”

While City Hall’s grand entrance hall and staircase are impressive, the Pickwick Room – which was used for business meetings – is “relatively underwhelming”, admitted Nicholas Jacob.

It is on the upper level of the lobby and overlooks busy Princes Street. Its large sash windows – almost floor to ceiling – will need to be adapted to keep out street noise.

The architects’ design and access statement recommends new glazing to eliminate background noise for civil ceremonies.

The work should also include five new chandeliers, concealed air conditioning and new carpeting throughout.

Mr Bunbury said: ‘Our proposals will significantly improve the Pickwick Hall, making it a beautiful location for couples wishing to marry, whilst remaining true to the historic purpose and heritage of the Town Hall.’

Pickwick Prize at the Town Hall, Ipswich

The Pickwick Room which is set to be transformed by Nicholas Jacob Architects into a wedding venue
– Credit: Nicholas Jacob Architects