Regine Kandan from Make Architects, Anusha Le Vasan from Fulkers Bailey Russell and Claire Brady from Historic England gave a presentation at NLA (www.nla.london.com) last night, Tuesday 21st January, on the first steps of the restoration and transformation of Hornsey Town Hall. The presentation focussed on the Town Hall itself, not the enabling development to the rear of the building.
Claire Brady from Historic England made the point that there was an unusually high number of Listed Building conditions attached (eighteen) to the restoration, all of which were being fulfilled by the developer, FEC. She talked about the role Historic England had played in the evaluation of all the tenders and commented that the proposed scheme was, in her opinion, the one that represented the best outcome for HTH in that it protected and restored its existing public spaces and was far less intrusive in terms of the original fabric of the building. Claire’s presentation is here (low res version; NB images sourced from Google and the Heritage Statement): Claire_Brady_HistoricEngland_web
Regine Kandan from Make Architects, the lead designers on the HTH scheme, talked about the three guiding principles in the restoration of the Town Hall: Repair, Restore and Repurpose. She talked about the poor state of the building prior to being “wrapped up” ahead of the restoration, and the ambition to restore and reuse as much of the existing fabric, fittings and artefacts, right down to the original door handles and clothes hooks in the lavatories.
One particular anecdote stood out: all the clocks in Hornsey Town Hall were once set to the same time and controlled by a single synchronome clock located in the lower ground floor. (There’s a picture of it on slide 40 of Regine’s presentation). The theory was that no one would be late for a meeting. All the clocks will be carefully restored and reused and, where possible, returned to their original location.
Regine’s presentation is here: Make_NLA_Hornsey Town Hall
Some of the detail of Regine’s presentation was based on the Hornsey Town Hall Salvage Strategy, published in July 2019 and available on the LBH planning portal. You can read the report here: Hornsey_Town_Hall_Salvage_Strategy_July2019
The visuals from Anusha’s presentation are here: Anusha_LeVasan_FulkersBaileyRussell_web
We very much hope that there will local presentations on the restoration of the Town Hall by the architects and Historic England in the coming months and we will report back as soon as we have more news.