Hackney Town Hall, London, UK

Historical / Public Buildings

Over the last 10 years, Hackney Town Hall has undergone an extensive refurbishment of the interior areas, the final phase of which was completed this year, celebrating the building’s 80th anniversary. Working closely with Hawkins Brown Architects and London Borough of Hackney Council, dpa developed a sensitive lighting approach to the Main Entrance and Reception space, Marriage Suites, First Floor Lobby, Council Chamber, Mayor’s Office and the newly created Atria spaces.

Throughout these spaces a number of the existing art-deco heritage luminaires were refurbished by Madson Black, including the stunning feature chandeliers in the Council Chamber. dpa provided technical input into the integration of new LED light sources, to ensure the luminaires provided an improved light level, lit appearance and longevity, to reduce the need for maintenance. As well as the refurbishments, a number of luminaires were newly manufactured in the same art-deco style, taking key design elements from the existing heritage luminaires, to maintain a sympathetic approach to lighting the refreshed interiors and work within the installation constraints of a listed building.

The previously unused courtyard areas have been completely transformed into a covered atria. The introduction of an ETFE roof structure offers fantastic additional event space, whilst maintaining excellent daylight ingress allowing use throughout the entire year. The lighting to these spaces is very flexible, to respond to the various daylight conditions and multitude of events that the Town Hall hosts, including recessed uplighting to brickwork, custom wall mounted spotlights, decorative wall lighting, narrow beam linear projectors to the feature wall panelling and colour change lighting to the roof structure and lift shaft.

As part of the repurposing of the courtyard areas, building services run through new risers constructed within each courtyard. The new riser constructions closed off two large existing windows, reducing the natural light levels within the first floor lobby area. To help negate this and generally improve the light levels in this space during the winter months, dpa designed lightboxes to the rear of the existing windows, containing tuneable white light sources to mimic the effects and colour temperature changes of daylight throughout the day and continue a warm white lit effect into the evenings. In conjunction with this, a series of transparent light sheets were installed behind the frosted glass panels within the adjacent skylight in this lobby, allowing natural light to pass through during the day and then emit a homogenous backlight during hours of darkness. Again, tuneable white lighting was used, to be able to match the colour temperature between the windows and the skylight throughout the day, through the use of the lighting control system.

Client: Hackney Council
Architect: Hawkins Brown Architects
Design Consultants: Turner Bates
Photography: James Newton