Requiring civic presence befitting the clients brief, whilst being a natural fit with the neighbouring Edwardian buildings that front the busy Barking Road. The Customer Service Centre & Library (CSC+L) is an exercise in scale, materiality, and rigorous detailing.
The first phase of an extensive regeneration of a listed Town Hall complex in East Ham, London. The CSC+L brings together a range of council front line services for local people under one roof, combining library, and local service centre functions into one fit-for-purpose building.
The project will reinvigorate the town centre of East Ham by London Borough of Newhams' decision to return its core team back to its home after years of relocations elsewhere in the borough. The siting of the CSC+L was carefully considered as the catalyst for a host of new routes and interlinked public spaces across the campus. The building knits together the wider site by emphasising the relationship between the Civic Campus and Town Centre.
A deceptively simple square plan typology drawing on the immediate context, is then sculpted notionally to involve aspects of its surroundings: establishing an exchange or connection between elements. The plan form in turn, responds to existing trees, adjacent streets, building lines, vistas, and takes a particular interest in the way facades turn corners and windows framing key views.
Large floor plates with clear sightlines are punctuated by a central void that shifts upwards, with spectacular views of the sky through a top-lit roof light. Full height windows to maximise the natural light deep into the plan, maintaining strong visual connections to the surrounding context are key aspects of the design.
London Borough of Newham
East Ham, London, UK