A combination of 1900s and 1930s architecture, the Town Hall was used by Bromley College until 2007 and has laid vacant ever since. These proposals will bring the heritage asset back into use by knitting the two buildings together in a modern and sensitive manner, improving connectivity and bringing energy performance up to modern standards.
A new high-quality landscaped courtyard lies at the heart of the scheme, designed to foster a collegiate feel and link the buildings into a single, cohesive and connected environment. This includes a landscaped amphitheatre with an integrated ramped level access route to the main entrance.
Some of the most historically significant areas of the building are to be opened up to the public through the creation of a café/bar within the old Court House. The buildings’ vast lofts will also be activated and brought into use for the first time as office space through the integration of conservation roof lights, dormer windows and new lift provision.
James Pickard, Cartwright Pickard
Under Castleforge’s Clockwise co-working brand, office tenants will be able to rent a private office, dedicated desk or choose club membership, a hot-desking model which provides start-ups with access to the benefits and facilities of more established businesses at a lower cost. A members’ lounge is to be created within the former Council Chamber.
A new lightweight first and second-storey extension clad in metal shingle replaces an existing poor-quality extension to provide space for the 24 hotel bedrooms in a way that is sensitive to the historic setting and reduces the load on the existing heritage building below. The hotel will complement Clockwise’s offer and support the local economy through the provision of overnight accommodation.
By supporting many small and medium sized businesses within a single complex, a vibrant and engaging atmosphere will be created. This will be enhanced through opportunities for networking and incidental meetings to take place in the wide variety of flexible internal and external communal spaces.
According to council officers the plans, which have been backed by Historic England and will lead to the removal of the building from the Buildings at Risk Register, will “preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the Bromley Town Centre Conservation Area.”
Henry Webber, Castleforge Partners