Top architects win battle to design Tower Hamlets new civic centre at Whitechapel

Future look for Whitechapel with former Royal London Hospital (bottom left) to be Tower Hamlets' new

Future look for Whitechapel with former Royal London Hospital (bottom left) to be Tower Hamlets' new town hall - Credit: TH Council

Schools are being involved in the design of the new town hall and civic centre in London’s East End planned as part of the Whitechapel urban regeneration.

New public square planned for Whitechapel's future town centre

New public square planned for Whitechapel's future town centre - Credit: TH Council

Pupils interested in architecture are to be invited to join education projects in building design by the architects who have been appointed this month for the mammoth £77 million task of creating the new public administration complex for Tower Hamlets Council.

The involvement of schools in the scheme to convert the former London Hospital building has been revealed by the consultancy signed up by the council to carry out the work, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

The firm is to work with schools in the East End on curriculum projects and act as mentors to pupils interested in a career in design and architecture.

The firm’s director, Paul Monaghan, said: “The project involves bringing the grand 18th century London Hospital back to life as a building open to the public.”

The design contract covers all the consultant, design and planning management responsibilities, which open up career opportunities for pupils and school-leavers. These include the way contractors are appointed and how construction is managed on the site.

The school involvement could last for the next five years as the civic centre scheme is scheduled to take up to the end of 2021.

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The council’s chief executive, Will Tuckley, explains: “Whitechapel is undergoing massive changes and the new civic centre is contributing to the regeneration of the area.

“The town hall scheme also secures the future of this 18th century building that is of heritage importance, which is a Grade II-listed landmark in the East End.”

The council approved plans for a new town hall in November, using the former hospital building which was bought in 2014 from the NHS when the Royal London moved to its new site just behind.

The appointment of the architects involved 100 firms showing interest in designing a new town hall, which was reduced to 23 bids, then a shortlist of six invited to tender for the contract—which Allford Hall Monaghan Morris won outright with its track record of large scale offices, civic and education centres and several industry design awards under its belt, including the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize.

The new civic centre is a major part of Whitechapel’s regeneration with new homes, shops and public spaces—and of course the arrival of Crossrail in 2018.

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