Feix&Merlin Architects has submitted a planning application to restore the fire-damaged, Grade II-listed former Walworth Town Hall
Backed by developer General Projects, the scheme aims to create a bustling employment, education and community hub.
Workspaces, designed specifically for small to medium-sized enterprises and local businesses, could bring more than 370 jobs into the building. A café and community centre would both be open to the public.
At the centre of the building, the old council Debating Chamber would be opened up and given a bold overhead light feature to echo an artificial rooflight that was part of the original flat ceiling installation.
A U-shaped mezzanine floor would be suspended from a set of timber and steel hybrid trusses, which would in turn support a new cross-laminated timber roof, allowing a column-free space at first floor level.
The proposal also seeks to improve the existing external space by introducing a public courtyard on the ground floor and an external terrace on the first floor.
The practice said finishes to both the courtyard and the first-floor terrace floors would ‘introduce an element of fun and colour’. Weathered timber beams would sit alongside vegetation in both spaces to ‘provide a sense of enclosure and intimacy’.
Feix&Merlin added in a statement: ‘It has been an absolute pleasure working on this project, discovering all the hidden treasures that this beautiful heritage building has to offer.
Working remotely to prepare this application has not been without its challenges
‘Working remotely over the last few months preparing this application has not been without its challenges. However, the whole project team have all come together to help create a high-quality proposal with great care and precision.’
General Projects development principal Frederic Schwass added: ‘From the very start, our intention was always to celebrate the existing architecture, rather than alter it.
’The former Walworth Town Hall and Newington Library are both iconic landmarks, of which we are truly honoured to be the custodians. Our core mission is to bring these beloved local gems back into use as a vibrant creative workspace, educational, and community hub.’