Council to spend £3 million on redevelopment architects

The entrance to the new Civic Hub, in the restored Grade II listed former RLH building, on Whitechapel Road. Pic: Whitechapel Vision regeneration prospectus 2015

The entrance to the new Civic Hub, in the restored Grade II listed former RLH building, on Whitechapel Road. Pic: Whitechapel Vision regeneration prospectus 2015

Tower Hamlets Council is spending nearly £3million on internationally-renowned architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) to design the civic redevelopment of the old Royal London Hospital.

The contract will cover all the key consultant, design and planning management milestones, including the appointment of contractors and the work taking place on site.

The council approved the creation of a new town hall on the site of the grade II listed former hospital building in Whitechapel last November, which will cost £77million.

The relocation of the council’s town hall aims to provide a new 21st century building with more centrally located Council services for local residents.

AHHM was hired to lead the design and consultancy work for the new civic centre after having shown they met the criteria across a number of areas, including working on new building and refurbishment projects of a similar complexity and scale, including redeveloping listed buildings.

The architect firm has previously designed the new Scotland Yard building in Whitehall and Google’s new London headquarter in King’s Cross that is set for completion this year.

Paul Monaghan, Director of AHMM said: “This is an amazing opportunity to create a civic beacon for Tower Hamlets, and we look forward to the challenge of working with new and old to make a new type of town hall at the heart of the community.

“One of the most exciting aspects of the project will involve bringing the 18th century Royal London Hospital back to life as a public building open to the borough.”

AHHM will also lead the design consultancy of the refurbishment of John Onslow House in Roman Road, as well as providing access to jobs and work experience for residents.

It will also work closely with schools on curriculum projects and mentor pupils interested in a career in design and architecture.

Will Tuckley, Chief Executive at Tower Hamlets Council said: “I am pleased to announce that the experienced AHMM team have been appointed to lead the architectural design and consultation stage of our ambitious plans to create a new Civic Centre in the heart of Whitechapel.

“The Civic Centre will be instrumental in our vision for transforming services. The council is keen to introduce new and more efficient ways of working whilst, together with our partners, delivering excellent front line services.

“Whitechapel as a whole is undergoing massive changes and the Civic Centre will be a key building contributing to the regeneration of the area, and securing the future of a building of heritage importance for the borough.

“We are also pleased that a firm with a clear and proven award winning design flair will be at the helm of what is both a grade II listed and much loved landmark building in the East End of London.

“I know that they will relish the particular challenges that the building will bring and look forward to working with the team to deliver a truly fantastic new civic and public service hub for the borough and our residents.”

The new civic centre is set for completion by the end of 2021, and is part of the wider regeneration of Whitechapel, which includes the opening of Crossrail in 2018, 3500 new homes, 5000 jobs, and new opportunities for retail and public spaces to be delivered over the next 10 years.

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