Hillingdon Civic Centre

RMJM, Uxbridge, 1977

 

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The cladding is indigenous to the borough; handmade bricks and tiles lend a familiar colour and texture 

Sam Lambert and Martin Charles     Download Original

  • The cladding is indigenous to the borough; handmade bricks and tiles lend a familiar colour and texture    
  • The concept is similar that of Herman Hertzberger    
  • Pitched roofs predominate close to ground level so more roof - the welcome element - can be seen than wall - the hour hostile element    
  • View of Civic Centre from the car park to the south. The magnified warm familiar elements fit over the open plan offices like a giant tea cosy    
  • View of Civic Centre from the car park to the south. The magnified warm familiar elements fit over the open plan offices like a giant tea cosy    
  • Not so much a glorified semi-detached house as an eclectic exercise in architectural history from Norman Shaw to Venturi    
  • Despite the vast areas of traditional detailing, nothing is or was quite like the new Hillingdon Civic Centre    
  • Entrance court with     
  • Garden court surrounded by colonnade leading to the public staircase    
  • The essence of Hillingdon – roofs, roofs and wall    
  • The unfinished look of the colonnade ceilings is in marked contrast to the high level of finishes elsewhere    
  • At present the light well with its trellis is not lit but nethertheless there is something a little back to front about lighting a light well and engineering a trellis    
  • The Civic Centre contains three floors of open plan offices. Each of the floors has four quadrants which are separated by a change in level of half a storey height    
  • The Civic Centre contains three floors of open plan offices. Each of the floors has four quadrants which are separated by a change in level of half a storey height    
  • The Civic Centre contains three floors of open plan offices. Each of the floors has four quadrants which are separated by a change in level of half a storey height    
  • Only at the exterior wall, in certain angles, is there any sense of locality. But even here the furniture arrangements throw the opportunity away    
  • The columns and heavy ducts which punctuate the floor disintergrate rather than create spaces. The complex Greek key lighting pattern also tears the interior apart    
  • The Council Chamber    
  • Site plan    
  • Basement level    
  • Mezzanine level    
  • Level one    
  • Level two    
  • Level four    
  • Plant room    
  • Elevation of civic suite and section through offices    
  • Section aa    
  • Detail section through external wall    

Civic building constructed from traditional materials such as red brick and vernacular forms such as pitched roofs

Inside, the traditional town hall layout of small offices was abandoned in favour of open plan office floors for council staff linked to a civic suite comprising meeting rooms, councilors' offices, the Mayor's parlour, the council chamber, civic hall and registry office. These are arranged in four quadrants around a central vertical circulation zone. Floors of adjacent quadrants at half levels to one another, allowing views through to higher and lower storeys. Near the centre of the building a vertical, open glazed shaft runs full height of the building.

Above the reception area doorway is a large stained glass widow. Its theme is town twinning, with the stained glass forming Hillingdon's official badge and the halved coats-of-arms of the borough's twin towns of Mantes-la-Jolie in France and Emden and Schleswig, both in Germany.

The building was a landmark for British architecture, shunning the modern movement and traditional town hall form for an open and ornate civic building the likes of which had not been seen before.

Data

  • Begun: Jan 1973
  • Completed: Mar 1977
  • Floor area: 35,812m2
  • Sector: Civic
  • Total cost: £5.6M
  • Tender date: Sep 1972
  • Procurement: Management Fee
  • Address: London Borough of Hillingdon Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW, United Kingdom

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