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Roundhouse team to design £16m Hornsey Town Hall

PUBLISHED: 16:23 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 07 September 2010

Architects John McAsian and Hannah Lawson with Ann Wilks and Cllr Charles Adje

Architects John McAsian and Hannah Lawson with Ann Wilks and Cllr Charles Adje

THE award-winning architects behind Camden's Roundhouse have been appointed to carry out a £16 million refurbishment of Hornsey Town Hall. John McAslan and Partners drew up the innovative design for the £29.7 million makeover of the world-class arts venue

THE award-winning architects behind Camden's Roundhouse have been appointed to carry out a £16 million refurbishment of Hornsey Town Hall.

John McAslan and Partners drew up the innovative design for the £29.7 million makeover of the world-class arts venue in Chalk Farm. They are also working on the redevelopment of King's Cross.

Now the town hall in Hornsey - where legendary rock bands Queen and The Kinks played their first gigs - looks set for a similar revamp.

Mr McAslan said: "We're absolutely delighted, we genuinely are. There are certain projects you hope or dream of winning and this is certainly one. There is something about the building, the context and the town that means this project will happen - irrespective of the economic climate. It's a fantastic asset."

Haringey Council and the Hornsey Town Hall Community Partnership Board announced on Friday that the firm had beaten three other contenders.

They were Allies and Morrison, which worked on the transformation of the Royal Festival Hall, DSDHA, which prepared the earlier feasibility study, and Avanti, which worked on the restoration of the Isokon flats in Hampstead.

Services at the 1930s Grade II-listed town hall were transferred to Wood Green when the borough of Haringey was created in 1963.

But residents campaigned for it to be retained for community use and, as a result, the Community Partnership Board was formed.

The architects hope to restore the building - including a theatre and council chamber - to its full glory.

There are proposals to hold arts events, concerts and weddings there, putting it at the centre of community and cultural life.

Practice director Hannah Lawson said that Haringey Council had offered to provide £6 million of the £16 million cost.

The remaining cash will be raised through selling council-owned land at the back of the town hall. The car park and office buildings will be sold for a retail and residential development.

The archiects will work on this development to provide continuity.

The new arts centre is expected to open in January 2012, with the first planning application expected in January 2010.

Haringey's resources chief, Cllr Charles Adje, who is under pressure to resign for his role in the failed sale of the Alexandra Palace lease, said: "It's been a long journey for this magnificent building. Some people accused me of trying to sell it, which I could never do to the people of this borough. I'm delighted be here, smiling with the design team today."

Crouch End Lib Dem Cllr Dave Winskill added: "The news of this initiative is absolutely wonderful.

"Ever since the establishment of the Community Partnership Board, there has been some immensely hard work going on behind the scenes. Now this has come to fruition with the appointment of the project team."

Partnership Board chairwoman Ann Wilks said: "The architects are pre-eminent in projects of this kind, and having such a prestigious design team in place is fantastic.

"We are all now looking forward to delivering a successful project for the people of Crouch End and beyond.

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