CIOB and Willmott Dixon launch Open Doors event

20 March 2018

The Old Admiralty Building is opening its doors to the public this week (

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Willmott Dixon kicked off March’s Open Doors week at the Old Admiralty Building in London, where the contractor is carrying out a major refurbishment.

The Grade II listed building on Horse Guards Parade is being converted into the new home for the Department for Education (DfE). Most recently occupied by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Old Admiralty Building once housed former prime minister Winston Churchill when he was First Lord of the Admiralty.

Willmott Dixon is converting the 23,000 sq m building into a modern office, which includes new M&E installations and structural alterations, with heritage elements removed and catalogued before being reincorporated into the building later in the programme.

The Old Admiralty Building was opened to the public as part of Open Doors, a week-long programme which aims to promote construction to the wider public and allow people to meet industry professionals and learn about careers.

The event was attended by Willmott Dixon group chief executive Rick Willmott and CIOB figures including chief executive Chris Blythe and current president Rebecca Thompson, a heritage specialist.

She said: “There are many connections between buildings, history and culture, and this Open Doors event helps us to appreciate that. Standing here today in Winston Churchill’s office, imagine some of the decisions that would have been made in this room.

“An appreciation of history is important for construction professionals and projects such as the Old Admiralty Building restoration can inspire future generations to join the industry.”

Willmott said: “Open Doors allows us to draw the curtain back on what the construction industry does. It is a fantastic chance for people to get behind the scenes of exciting construction projects and showcase the career opportunities available in our industry.”

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