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Avanti wins Old Walworth Town Hall rebuild contest

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Avanti Architects has won the contest to rebuild the Old Walworth Town Hall and Newington Library buildings which were struck by fire two years ago

The AJ100 practice defeated Rick Mather Architects, Purcell, John McAslan + Partners, Haworth Tompkins and Donald Insall Associates in the invited competition for the estimated £20 million south London job.

The Grade II-listed buildings hosted a library, local history museum and the anthropological Cuming Collection before they burnt down in March 2013.

More than 120 firefighters tackled the Wansey Street blaze which started in the former town hall’s roof and significantly damaged the Henry Jarvis-designed 1866 buildings.

The 4,500m² project for local authority Southwark Council will create a new library and museum inside the historic structures. A flexible events space for performances and wedding ceremonies will also be included.

Avanti’s winning scheme featured a new public square designed to boost access to the centre without altering the surviving facade.

Mark Williams, Southwark Council cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: ‘Our vision for Walworth Town Hall and Newington Library is to offer local residents a new, top quality space to act as a community hub for people to enjoy and use at the heart of the Elephant and Castle.’

Amir Ramezani, Avanti Architects director: ‘We are delighted to be appointed to transform Walworth Town Hall into a new revitalised cultural venue and look forward to working with the community to create a civic hub they can take pride in.’

The practice – which is also shortlisted to restore the fire-damaged Glasgow School of Art – is working with lead consultant Faithful + Gould on the project.

A planning application is expected at the start of next year.

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