Refurbishment of a Grade II listed art-deco town hall into a new model for higher education institution in East London
Broadway Malyan was commissioned to breathe new life into an east London town hall as part of Coventry University’s ambitious expansion plans. The proposals include a substantial refurbishment of the unique grade II listed Civic Centre in Dagenham to create Coventry University Group’s newest campus, CU London, which will cater for up to 3,000 students.
The Art Deco building was originally designed by Architect E. Berry Webber and constructed in 1936 as part of a major civic development programme in London during the inter-war years.
The building is constructed in Mulberry brick but boasts a Portland stone portico with four slim columns leading into a dramatic three storey entrance hall which includes marble columns, two staircases and art deco ceiling paintings.
“This is a key project for the Coventry University Group and we are working closely with Barking and Dagenham Council to create a facility that not only protects the future of this fantastic building but supports their growth aspirations.”John Dishman, chief executive officer and director of CU Coventry
The building underwent significant restoration in 2003 to restore much of its original stonework and paint colours and the latest project will protect and enhance many of the building’s key aspects including its dramatic entrance hall and atrium and council chamber.Coventry University’s vision for this facility was to challenge conventional thinking around the organisation of study, hence Broadway Malyan’s approach has been to combine the latest in pedagogic thinking while also creating a campus that is outward facing and open to use by the local community.
As well as remodeling the former council offices in the building’s two wings to create a series of high quality learning spaces with unique views across the site’s landscaped grounds, the project includes a new café for both university and community and a new learning resource centre. Based upon a high-quality and low-cost career focused model of higher education pioneered by the University through its CU Coventry model, CU London will offer lower fees, lower entry requirements and more flexible learning options.