Publication: Town Hall - Buildings, People and Power


At the beginning of the fieldwork period I was in touch with Dawn Reeves of Shared Press about a new book she was working on covering the history and future of civic architectures in Britain.

For Dawn’s book I ended up writing two excerpts from the North of England; one on Todmorden Town Hall in Calderdale, West Yorkshire and the other on Newcastle Civic Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. Although my own work has shifted away from local government architectures, their importance is still worth noting and if anything they are a reminder of a time when local democracy thrived and a concern with ethics and civic duty came before that of finance and value. Many of these buildings are on city centre sites with high land values, so to reimagine their uses and how they could once again become centres of society is an area I am still very much interested in. The contemporary buildings in the book, mostly in London, are examples of how reimagining the typical typology of town halls can enable them to have a future and importance once again. By including spaces and facilities which can be used by the public, as well as providing the usual office and administrative spaces, a sense of shared interest and value is developed beyond that of the council alone.

The book is going to be officially launched at London City Hall in December and is available to purchase from the 30th November - pre orders can be made on Amazon

Tom Ardron