East Ham Civic Campus

East Ham Civic Campus

In 2010 the London Borough of Newham committed to re-invigorate the East Ham Civic Campus through the construction of a new public building along with repairs to the Grade II and II* listed structures which form the heart of the campus within the East Ham Conservation Area. The buildings were designed by Cheers & Smith and constructed between 1900 - 1915 in a grand Edwardian style using hard red bricks and terracotta dressings.

Client

London Borough of Newham

Location 

East Ham, UK

Dates

2010–2016

The brief was to once again establish East Ham as a major civic presence within Newham. Over the years, rapid population growth, changing socio-political structures and developments technology, transport and communications resulted in many council functions being relocated throughout the wider borough. Additionally the original Edwardian buildings, designed by Cheers and Smith, though of architectural significance and merit, were unsuitable for the operation of a modern London Borough Council.

A phased approach was therefore developed with Newham to bring the listed buildings back into Council use and spark a wider regeneration of the town centre. Key aims were to bring new life to the site, balancing the conservation of buildings of heritage while delivering sustainable, flexible new buildings, interlinking urban spaces and improved public routes.

Overall all phases were carefully detailed with a light touch approach to ensure that their construction would not compromise the integrity of the existing campus. Where alterations to the original fabric were required, traces were left to hint at the layers of history. 

New insertions provide a backdrop for the existing heritage features, supporting them through function, but not attempting to overshadow. The balance between conservation, functionality and regeneration was challenging for both the design team and the client, but have set a useful precedent for future work to be completed within the developed masterplan.

Gavin Miller Project Director for Rick Mather Architects

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