The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Proposals for reconfiguring the fountain

Credit: Hawkins/Brown, Churchman Thornhill Finch

Walthamstow Town Hall

A successful example of light-touch adaptation

The London Borough of Waltham Forest submitted plans in for a refurbishment scheme for its Grade II-listed Town Hall in August. Philip Dalton Hepworth’s competition-winning scheme underwent several small revisions due to wartime materials shortages. We were pleased by the light-touch approach the Borough of Waltham Forest have taken to adapt workspaces, improve accessibility, reverse insensitive later alterations and make ceremonial spaces better suited for event hire.

The plans also involve reconfiguring the fountain that sits in the centre of the formal landscaping to the south. We had slight concerns about this, but agreed it was acceptable as part of the wider package of positive changes. The Borough’s Planning Committee voted unanimously in favour of the plans. We are pleased to see the Borough setting an example of good conservation work to building owners in the area and to other local authorities, particularly at a time when many C20 Town Halls and Council Offices face uncertain futures.

Plans for wider development within the Civic Complex are still being worked on, but are set to include the demolition of the former Magistrate’s Court, which the Society has seen several times during tours of the area.

Grace Etherington