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Waltham Forest Town Hall\

Where culture and enterprise meet local governance.

Waltham Forest’s elegant Town Hall has been restored and the civic campus transformed into a vibrant new neighbourhood.

Grade II-listed Waltham Forest Town Hall has been redesigned and transformed into a welcoming, open place for council staff, local businesses and residents to come together.

Our comprehensive renovation has created flexible new workspace for council workers, enabling more efficient use of available floorspace and adapting the building to the support the council’s operations in the era of agile working.

Forming the northern edge of a new public space, Fellowship Square (designed by landscape architects Churchman Thornhill Finch), the Town Hall has been redesigned to bring the council's staff together into a single building, freeing up space elsewhere within the civic campus and the wider borough for new housing.

Later phases of the Civic Campus masterplan will deliver over 500 homes in new buildings flanking Fellowship Square.

“We have worked closely with Hawkins\Brown whose designs have restored and re-imagined the cherished historic listed Town Hall.

In doing so, it has transformed the way the Council operates and delivers services to residents.”

Martin Esom Chief Executive of London Borough of Waltham Forest

The challenge

While numerous councils are opting to convert their historic town halls into luxury homes, hotels, venues or workspaces, Waltham Forest decided to retain the building’s original purpose and redevelop it to accommodate the changing needs of their staff and community.

The buildings and their surrounding external features were originally designed as part of a masterplan by Philip Hepworth and built during the Second World War. Through the years, the campus has seen incremental alterations and additions, presenting us with a challenge of balancing the need for transformation and conservation - determining which building elements to retain and enhance, and which to alter to improve functionality.

As a result, later and less sympathetic interventions have been removed to foreground the original features and intentions.

The big idea

The civic campus is a democratic place where staff, residents and visitors can feel welcomed and included. An interactive water feature in Fellowship Square replaces the tired fountain at the main entrance, encouraging children to play in the water on a hot day while also forming a fully accessible forecourt to host large scale events.

Refurbishing the Town Hall, and the addition of a new civic centre, has enabled the Council to consolidate staff into one location, freeing up the vacated sites for much needed housing. Cellular offices are replaced with open-plan, agile workspaces to promote collaboration, wellbeing and efficiency.

“Throughout the project we’ve worked with institutions, makers and craftspeople from Waltham Forest wherever possible, delivering a building that celebrates the skills and proud civic tradition of the borough.”

Adam Cossey Partner and Civic, Community and Culture Sector Lead

Project Summary

Project Team

Landscape Architect: Churchman Thornhill Finch
Structural and Civil Engineer: Ramboll
MEP Engineer: Ramboll
Acoustic Engineer: Ramboll
Structural Engineer: Ramboll
Transport Engineer:Ramboll
BREEAM: Ramboll
Planning and Heritage Consultant: Montagu Evans
Security Consultant: DJ Goode & Associates
Access Consultant: Lord Consultants
Quantity Surveyor: Aecom

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