The AJ100 practice’s plans for the Grade II-listed 1950s building were approved at a planning committee meeting on Monday night (11 September).
The £54 million overhaul, which Hawkins\Brown says could start as early as next year, will provide the 66-year-old building on Wood Green High Road with a new annexe, offices, and restored civic spaces for the community.
The Civic Centre was listed in 2018, but Haringey Council was forced to close it in spring 2020 as its condition ‘had significantly deteriorated and needed major repair and replacement’.
The building has a reinforced concrete structural frame, and is faced with brick and pre-cast reinforced stone on the exterior.
The council subsequently appointed a design team including Hawkins\Brown and landscape architect Churchman Thornhill Finch to explore how the centre could be refurbished and redeveloped to bring it back into use.
According to a design and access statement, the sustainability-focused refurb will include enclosing an external undercroft space under the building’s first-floor west wing with glazed screens, ‘to provide a light and airy welcome space, opening out to the woodland garden area and central courtyard’.
It will also see the building’s extensive precast concrete panels replaced with glass-reinforced concrete (GRC) of the same colour, integrated with 100mm of mineral wool insulation.
The building will accommodate more than 800 council staff when it reopens, with space for visitors and community groups.
Another round of consultation is now set to take place, where residents, schools and council staff will be able to help co-design spaces including the centre’s Woodland Garden and other landscaped areas. Haringey’s cabinet will soon be asked to approve commencement of work.
Hawkins\Brown partner Jason Martin said the project would ‘preserve and enhance the iconic 1950s listed building, help the council achieve its zero carbon objectives and provide new improved landscaping around the building that will be open and accessible to all’.
Haringey cabinet member for housebuilding, placemaking and local economy Ruth Gordon said the new civic centre would help the council towards meeting its net zero emissions goal by 2027, with new high-tech offices built to the ‘highest sustainability standards’, as well as protecting the building’s heritage.
She added: ‘I’m especially pleased that we are working with local people to co-design the public spaces around the civic centre, in line with the Haringey Deal commitment to work more closely with residents.’
Haringey Civic Centre was constructed between 1955 and 1958 to designs by John Brown, AE Henson and Partners, incorporating ‘clear Scandinavian influences, with generous planning and creative use of space’, according to a design and access statement.
It was the first civic centre of its size to be built after the Second World War, and influenced the designs of later civic centres including Crawley Town Hall.