Customised wall panels by Armstrong Ceiling Solutions have proved a key feature in the award-winning refurbishment of the Grade II listed Hackney Town Hall.
The folded bronze anodised aluminium panels were selected by regular Armstrong specifiers Hawkins\Brown architects for the end walls of two underused interior service courtyards that have been transformed into full-height multi-functional atria as part of the redevelopment.
The bespoke wall panels were custom perforated by laser into a pattern that mimics the original walls behind, including aged brickwork, Crittall windows, drain pipes and services. They serve to conceal new ducts linked to the smoke ventilation system and feature an acoustic fleece behind the panels to absorb sound.
Some 110m2 of the 1.5mm WH-1000 2m x 1m panels, which also feature a butterfly effect, where random perforations have been fabricated into “wings” to dapple the light, were installed by specialist Omega sub-contractor Roskel Contracts for main contractor Osborne onto a lightweight steel framing system on the walls at the eastern ends of the north and south atria.
These were complemented by anodised trough boxes containing continuous strips of LED lights at the top of each three-storey wall.
Hawkins Brown then created two abstract images of each original windowed brick wall using the computer programme Grasshopper through which they programmed in the technical and aesthetic parameters and “plugged in” photographs.
Built in 1937 to an Art Deco-style design by architects Lanchester and Lodge, Hackney Town Hall has been the subject of an exhaustive 12-year and 12,500m2 restoration and refurbishment programme throughout which it has remained fully open.
In the new atria, the brickwork is topped by a continuous steel ring beam that supports the new ETFE roof spanned by secondary beams. The former service yard’s basement floor has been raised to ground-floor level to allow level access from the refurbished marriage suites which now open onto the new atria’s resin terrazzo floor.
Hackney Town Hall won a 2018 RIBA Award (London Part 2).
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