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Make submits latest plans for Hornsey Town Hall revamp

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Make has become the latest in a long line of architects to submit a planning application for the revamp of Hornsey Town Hall, in Crouch End, north London

The practice was appointed by developer Far East Consortium (FEC) to transform the Grade II*-listed complex into a boutique hotel and arts venue together with two apartment blocks at the back of the site providing around 140 homes.

In 2015, 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.

Tthe iconic 1935 complex, designed by Reginald Uren, 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.

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

Commenting on the latest scheme, Make Architects partner Katy Ghahremani said: ‘We’ve carried out extensive research, working closely with historic building consultants Donald Insall Associates, to design a concept which draws on the rich Art Deco heritage of Hornsey Town Hall.

‘The two new residential blocks also take inspiration from the original building, using a material palette of brick, reconstituted stone and intricate metalwork; this materiality also links them to the neighbouring Grade II-listed Hornsey Library.’

She added: ‘Central to the plans is making the new town hall fully accessible and designing flexible spaces which will allow it to provide a better public offer. Creating permeability through the site is equally important, and we have used the varying topography to create different outdoor spaces.

‘The [town hall] square will also be redesigned, taking inspiration from the original design by Uren, who also designed the town hall. This work will include sensitive restoration of the protected fountain.’

Subject to approval the 22,407m² scheme could start on site next year.

Project data


Location Hornsey Town Hall, Crouch End
Type of project Mixed use including restoration of a Grade II* Listed Building, a hotel, residential apartments and an arts centre
Client Crouch End (FEC) Ltd
Architect Make
Historic Building Consultant Donald Insall Associates
Landscape architect Outerspace
Planning consultant Collective Planning
Structural engineer Bradbrook
M&E consultant Sweco
Quantity surveyor Fulkers
Lighting consultant Point 2 Surveyors
Funding Far East Consortium (FEC) International
Tender date Development agreement signed (between Haringey Council) and Crouch End (FEC) Ltd in February 2017
Start on site date subject to planning consent, 2018
Completion date expected in 2020
Gross internal floor area 22,407m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Development Agreement between Haringey Council and Crouch End (FEC)

Bennetts (left) make (right) hornsey town hall

Bennetts (left) make (right) hornsey town hall

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