Plans for the long-awaited revamp of Walworth Town Hall have been revealed.
A mix of workshops, studios and creative workspaces for SMEs, alongside a new cafe, restaurant, community gallery, arts and culture and public event spaces, feature in the designs, okayed by Southwark Council.
The plans are the work of architects Feix&Merlin and real estate developer General Projects. The Grade II listed building was gutted during a fire in 2013, and has been closed to the public ever since.
A 'miniature British Museum'
There is one notable admission from the proposed designs: the Cuming Museum. This cabinet of some 10,000 curiosities — amassed by Richard Cuming, (1777-1870) and his son Henry Syer Cuming (1817-1909) — was previously housed in Walworth Town Hall, giving Londoners the opportunity to marvel at everything from Victorian poster bills and tickets, to limestone carvings dating back to 22 AD. It was described as a 'miniature British Museum'.
Despite the severity of 2013's blaze, 98% of the Cuming Collection was left unharmed, although certain items were later stolen.
Southwark Council has previously said that it will house 'some' of the collection in the new library. However, local group, the Walworth Society — which has been critical of the council's handling of the redevelopment — says that the Cuming Collection deserves its own permanent base.
The redevelopment is due for completion in Spring 2022.
All images © Feix&Merlin