Lambeth Civic Centre and Town Hall
by Cartwright Pickard
Client Lambeth Council & Muse Developments
Awards RIBA London Award 2019
Lambeth Council's new civic quarter is centred around the refurbishment of the Grade I Listed Lambeth Town Hall and the construction of a new build Civic Centre. The Council's drive was to rationalise outdated building stock to reduce running costs and centralise the Borough's facilities to create a more efficient organisation. The project has achieved this aim, reducing the Council's core office buildings from fourteen to two, saving taxpayer money and cutting the Council's carbon footprint by two thirds.
The masterplan creates a public realm setting for the two civic buildings on Brixton Hill that leads into a more domestic street setting for affordable and market housing, delivered as part of the wider masterplan.
The new Civic Centre is a simple but elegant rectilinear building using a palette of red brick and precast concrete panels that refers to the Edwardian architecture of the Town Hall.
Internally, the exposed concrete soffits, columns, beams and stairs create simple, modern space that is inherently flexible and has been well executed throughout. The building centralises the public services at the ground floor and provides council offices above, all of which were previously dispersed across a series of buildings.
The refurbishment of the Town Hall reinvents and breathes new life into the Edwardian building. An intelligent approach to old and new has been achieved, allowing period features and materials to be restored and enhanced, while decluttering ad hoc additions to provide new spatial opportunities. A previously external courtyard has been covered allowing a top-lit internal atrium space at the heart of the building, providing a focus and connection to the other spaces.
The Council’s evident energy, drive and enthusiasm for the project and their close collaboration with the architect throughout the process has contributed significantly to the overall success, and whilst working within a challenging budget, the project has achieved a valuable facility to serve the needs of the community present and future.
Contract Value £65m
Contractor Morgan Sindall
Structural Engineer Curtins Consulting Engineers
Environmental / M&E Engineer chapmanbdsp
Acoustic Engineer Clarke Saunders Associates
Landscape Architect HED
Interior Design Cartwright Pickard