Tower Hamlets Civic Centre, the new headquarters for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, encompasses the restoration of the Grade II listed former Royal London Hospital building, and the addition of a new build extension. The move to the former hospital site will consolidate a number of the council’s offices into one location, and offer a broad range of public services to the borough’s residents, in a more accessible location in Whitechapel.
The design proposal responds to key eras of the existing building’s development spanning between 1757 and 1906, utilising the architectural character inherent in each extension of the original building to enrich the new internal environment. The existing building retains the Georgian formality of its external facades which will be restored to create a backdrop to the council’s activities within the new extension. The internal finishes and double height volumes associated with the more ornate Arts and Crafts inspired operating theatre extensions will be revealed and reinstated to provide a vibrant mix of working environments.
The new build extension will provide six upper levels of open plan office accommodation providing a contemporary working environment for 2470 council staff plus partner organisations. At ground level a new council chamber and associated meeting facilities will form the borough’s democratic focus together with a significant ‘local presence’ space. The existing former hospital building, being cellular in nature, will contain a range of meeting facilities for council staff, and public engagement space for Housing Options and customer services departments.