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Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council joins our Future High Streets debate with RSH+P

CGI of Hammersmith & Fulham Town Hall, re-modelled as part of a full 'civic campus' project (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)

Councillor Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council will speak at our first 'High Streets and City Centres' debate this week.

He has been the borough's leader since 2014 when he set up a commission to review how to make Hammersmith and Fulham the best place for business in the EU. Stephen also set up a ground-breaking industrial strategy with Imperial College London designed to make his borough a global hotspot in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and creative industries.

He is joined by Mark Rintoul, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' Project Architect for Hammersmith and Fulham's new Civic Campus, which replaces the existing Hammersmith and Fulham Town Hall extension and adjacent large cinema site, located at the West of King Street in Hammersmith's town centre.

RSHP describes the scheme as 'ruthlessly inclusive' and 'zero harm' stating that it will breathe new life into the King Street area and reinvent the concept of the Town Hall to make it exciting and relevant for the people it serves.

The mixed-use development, including a contemporary intervention to the existing Grade 11-listed Town Hall building, creates a a community hub with flexible office and start-up workspaces and 204 residential dwellings offering 52% shared ownership and social rent homes for local people. All the architecture and materials are of the same quality regardless of tenure.

The scheme also provides homework space for young people, a new cinema and orchestra performance space, a public roof-top bar and cafe, public art gallery, and a new public square connecting with the riverside.

RSHP's Civic Campus project includes cutting-edge sustainable technology in its design. Extensive stakeholder engagement throughout all project stages demonstrates the community focus of the scheme, consulting closely with residents through a range of methods. One of the council priorities is 'doing things with residents, not to them'. This innovative community engagement through the Town Hall Commission and Disabled People's Commission and attendants of the public exhibitions, led to planning and listed building consent by unanimous vote at committee with no public objections.

Accessibility issues were raised before plans were submitted - and robust, time and cost-effective solutions found early in the process. This unusual approach should be adopted in all major development projects.

The campus is set for completion in April 2023, with demolitions in progress and preparation for construction (RIBA stage 5) starting at the end of September 2020.


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