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Fifth time lucky? Make becomes latest name linked to Hornsey Town Hall revamp

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Make has been announced as the latest in a long line of architects chosen to work up plans for the refurbishment of Hornsey Town Hall

The practice has been appointed by developer Far East Consortium (FEC) to transform the Grade II*-listed complex in Crouch End, north London, into a new boutique hotel and arts venue.

The announcement comes more than two years after the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts abandoned Purcell-designed plans for a new headquarters inside the 1935 landmark.

Purcell had been working on the job since 2013 when it was brought in to replace Bennetts Associates – which had completed initial feasibility studies for the school. At the time Bennetts Associates claimed it was undercut on fees.

Five years earlier, in 2008, John McAslan + Partners, was parachuted in to replace DSDHA on the scheme, briefed to deliver a ‘new community use’ for the Art Deco town hall, which has been largely unused since 2003.

Haringey Council launched a fresh tender for the building’s sale after the Mountview project collapsed and announced Hong Kong-based FEC as preferred bidder in October. Despite a petition of nearly 7,000 signatures calling for the deal to be scrapped, FEC was awarded the redevelopment in February.

Commenting on the latest scheme, Head of UK development at FEC John Connolly said: ‘Hornsey Town Hall is a landmark building which is steeped in history, and we are dedicated to maintaining the building’s heritage while also creating a new hub for the whole community to enjoy.

‘We are delighted to be working with the experienced team at Make Architects, who will work closely with us to ensure that the Town Hall is restored to its former glory.’

Katy Ghahremani of Make Architects added: ‘We are really looking forward to getting started on this fantastic project. Hornsey Town Hall is a superb asset to the community, and we are really excited by the opportunity it presents.’

Designed by Reginald Uren – the iconic 1935 complex closed as a town hall in 1966 when the council’s administrative services were moved to Wood Green. Since then the building has been used as an arts centre for the local community – housing about 70 tenants in a small-business incubator.

The latest project will deliver a new boutique hotel and arts centre with restaurants and cafés alongside new housing and a landscaped town square featuring market stalls. Historic elements of the building such as the assembly hall, foyer, council chamber, supper room and committee rooms will be restored for community use with the remaining areas converted into a hotel.

Restoration works are expected to start next year.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Chris Rogers

    Not a single image of what's proposed, or indeed any details. I wonder what demand there is for hotels on this sort in this area? And what will happen to the building itself - hotel conversions of historic buildings have a mixed history, to say the least.

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