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Old Town Hall

Renovation to Lewisham Town Hall Reception

2022 - 2024

Following a successful bidding process, West Port has been appointed to redesign and deliver improved entrances, reception area and consultation room for the Old Town Hall in Catford, South East London. The public service building is occupied by a charitable co-working operator, local economic support and rehabilitation services, as well as several public organisations such as the Department of Work and Pensions.

The existing 1950/60’s building is crescent shaped with distinctive glazing and decorative tiling to the elevations. These run along the common staircases and throughout the building. There are two entrances into the reception area. The south entrance, regularly referred to as the ‘main’ entrance, is set back from the busy Catford Road by an open green space, with a well-kept flower bed. Though set back, the approach remains somewhat unwelcoming and harsh. Part of West Ports' role is to improve the approach route through creative wayfinding and signage systems.

The more discrete north entrance, regularly referred to as the ‘rear’ entrance, fronts onto the recently pedestrianised Catford Broadway. This entrance provides more convenient access to the amenities available in Catford Town Centre, however, as it stands it has no provision for wheelchair users. Another issue West Port is looking to solve.

Through close collaboration and workshops with local stakeholders, we have identified several improvements that could be made to the entrances and the way in which the reception is entered and used on a day to day basis. One of the biggest frustrations for staff and visitors alike is that a lot of the existing signage has been adapted overtime, in piecemeal fashion, resulting in incoherent messaging, lack of clarity for visitors and subsequently more pressure on users.

Together with the wider project team, West Port is seeking to create a clear, calm and welcoming experience for tenants, visitors and building management by reconfiguring the internal layout of the reception to provide more space and respite for visitors. Our design intends to be cost effective, sustainable and tasteful. We are working with existing finishes to create a sympathetic yet refreshed design.

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