Design Awards 2015
Johnstone Town Hall
Renfrewshire Council with Holmes Miller
Johnstone Town Hall is an iconic £14.5m development led by Renfrewshire Council as a catalyst for the regeneration of Johnstone Town Centre. The building responds to the needs of the community with a range of flexible modern spaces (including a library, theatre space, marriage suite, cafe, dance studio and meeting rooms) alongside community partners Police Scotland and Macmillan Cancer Support. Construction commenced in October 2013 and the new Town Hall opened to the public in March 2015.
Johnstone is an 18th century planned town with a distinctive character, set around a traditional grid pattern and two generous public squares. The new Town Hall is located on the key route between these two major public spaces, Houston Square and Ludovic Square. The site context, industrial heritage and townscape are key references for the design concept, which comprises a cluster of two storey blocks arranged around a double height internal ‘street’. The building celebrates natural materials (including natural stone, slate and brick) and has achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.
The principal spaces are all multi-functional and the Main Hall is equipped with retractable seating, facilitating both performances and community events, with a full catering kitchen and fitted bar adjacent. The marriage suite and community rooms can also accommodate a variety of uses, from performance dressing rooms to conferences and a dramatic dance studio is included on the first floor. A range of council services (Housing, Social Work, Advice Works, Registration, Customer Services) operate from generous offices in the building, supporting the community at its heart.
The Concept design was prepared by Renfrewshire Council and developed and delivered by Holmes Miller Architects, Struer and RSP, working with BAM through Hub West Scotland. This innovative approach has realised excellent value for money and a successful Community Benefits programme was delivered as part of the project. Specially commissioned artwork was procured for site hoardings, and public artworks within the building were developed in consultation with community groups and local schools, reinforcing the sense of community ownership.
The development illustrates innovative and successful partnership working between the public and private sectors and was recently awarded Development of the Year (Public Buildings) at the Scottish Property Awards 2015. In addition, announcement of a Civic Trust Award is anticipated.