South London’s 145-year-old Southwark Town Hall has been repurposed and renovated to blend old and new, serving a 21st Century community whilst maintaining its historic features.
After 150 years as a town hall, the building was bought by the University of the Arts London to house its students. Southwark Council insisted the building should continue to benefit the local community, so architects Jestico + Whiles incorporated communal areas, lounges and gardens into the design, as well as 166 student rooms.
As well as student accommodation, a striking pale brick-clad structure houses a gallery with space for 12 self-contained artists’ studios, funded by a public gallery and café below. The new addition to the historic structure is wrapped in iridescent tiles that, depending on the light and viewing angle, softly shift and change colour throughout the day.
‘The rooftop pavilion’s coloured, fritted glass … is based on the theatre curtain, gathered at the head with hanging pleats,’ explain Jestico + Whiles, ‘[It] ties the new and historic together.’
You can find out more about the project here.