back button

Hackney Town Hall

Restoration drama

Hackney Town Hall – a prime example of Art Deco architecture – has been given a new lease of life with a creative-yet-careful restoration.

Originally completed in 1937, the Grade II-listed building has experienced 80 years of intensive use – yet little investment in restoration and modernisation.

To bring it into the 21st century, we refurbished and enhanced the spaces to ensure its continued future use for council staff, visitors and public.

We started thinking about how the building could work harder for the council, using every inch of floor space and introducing new uses that could generate much needed revenue. The council was keen to see the offices upgraded and modernised with new spaces for conferences performance and celebrations.

But the ultimate goal was to bring the building into wider public use.

We cleared the decks, removing physical clutter so we could focus on painstakingly restoring the original finishes. We then reconfigured the space, introducing an office design which supported smarter ways of working with a 6:10 desk-to-staff ratio.

Outmoded spaces have been converted into new event venues – a new opportunity to generate revenue – while unused light wells in the heart of the building have become multi-functional spaces. New marriage suites and a public reception have been installed, while the assembly halls now have a functioning, Art Deco-styled bar.

The town hall is now more efficient and effective – accommodating up to 70% more staff and more council services.

We worked with local craftsmen – some of whom came out of retirement specially – to restore the leatherwork, French polishing, and carpentry, and replace light fittings and ironmongery with matching materials.

Project details

Project name: Hackney Town Hall

Location: London UK

Services: Briefing and estates optimisation, Digital design

Value: < £20M

Scope: Architecture, Interior design

Clients: London Borough of Hackney

Status: Complete

Completion date: 2017

Contractor: Osborne

Structural engineer: Warehams

M&E engineer: Jacobs

Quantity surveyor: Ridge & Partners

Consultant: Turner Bates

Project management: Ridge & Partners

Lighting design: DPA Lighting Consultants

Photography: Siobhan Doran


Hackney Design Awards 2018
People's Choice Awards - Winner

New London Awards 2018
Conservation & Retrofit - Winner

RIBA Awards 2018
London Regional Award - Winner

If you want to know more about our civic, community & culture work, contact Adam Cossey

If you want to know more about our interior design work, contact Morag Morrison