Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in HE
Dagenham CC entrance (Photo: Steve Cadman)

Art Deco town hall set for university transformation

The grade II listed Civic Centre was built in 1936

Posted by Hannah Vickers | February 02, 2017 | Estates

Broadway Malyan has been commissioned to breathe new life into an east London town hall as part of Coventry University’s ambitious expansion plans.

The practice will substantially refurbish the stunning grade II listed Civic Centre in Dagenham to create Coventry University Group’s newest campus, CU London, which will cater for up to 3,000 students.

The Art Deco building was originally designed by Architect E. Berry Webber and constructed in 1936 as part of a major civic development programme in London during the inter-war years.

The building is built in Mulberry brick but boasts a Portland stone portico with four slim columns leading into a dramatic three storey entrance hall which includes marble columns, two staircases and art deco ceiling paintings.

The building underwent significant restoration in 2003 to restore much of its original stonework and paint colours and the latest project will protect and enhance many of the building’s key aspects including its dramatic entrance hall and atrium and council chamber.

(Photo: Steve Cadman)

Work on the project is set to begin this month after it was approved by planners, and Broadway Malyan director Ben Somner, who is leading the project, said the scheme was unique in the higher education sector.

Coventry University’s vision for this facility is to challenge conventional thinking around the organisation of study - Ben Somner, Broadway Malyan director

He said: “Coventry University’s vision for this facility is to challenge conventional thinking around the organisation of study, so our approach has been to combine the latest in pedagogic thinking while also creating a campus that is outward facing and open to use by the local community.

“A substantial element of the project will be to remodel and refurbish the former council offices in the building’s two wings to create a series of high quality learning spaces which benefit from fantastic views across the site’s landscaped grounds and the adjacent Central Park.

(Photo: Steve Cadman)

“We will also be creating a new café for both university and community use and introducing a new learning resource centre that will incorporate the existing council chamber, which will continue to be used by the local authority for meetings in the future.

This building is a beautiful example of the architecture of its time and the attention to detail within the three-storey entrance hall particularly is breathtaking - Ben Somner

“This building is a beautiful example of the architecture of its time and the attention to detail within the three-storey entrance hall particularly is breathtaking. We are excited to have the opportunity to be part of a project that will ensure the long-term future of this historically important building.”

Based upon a high-quality and low-cost career focused model of higher education pioneered by the University through its CU Coventry model, CU London will offer lower fees, lower entry requirements and more flexible learning options.

John Dishman, chief executive officer and director of CU Coventry, added: “This is a key project for the Coventry University Group and we are working closely with Barking and Dagenham Council to create a facility that not only protects the future of this fantastic building but supports their growth aspirations.

“It will also enable local people to access a more affordable and flexible further education.”

Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in HE

Related stories

Mental Health First Aid training for all healthcare students

Coventry's Bishop Gate gets underway

Coventry Uni fights essay cheats

University of Brighton joins University Alliance

Coventry staff have pedal power

Coventry sports scholarship stars prepare for gold in Rio

Coventry nominated for two leading education awards

Professor John Latham to be new Alliance chair

Work begins on Coventry University's transport design centre

Coventry campus gets green award

Market place - view all

ASK 4

ASK4 is an industry leading provider of high-speed internet solutio...

Document Solutions

With our experience we help organisations to optimise their entire ...

NEC

NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet...

S&C Slatter

S&C Slatter have over 20 years experience as specialists in constru...

Southstreet

We offer a great student experience - plus a great investment oppor...

ULCC

Established in 1968 following recommendations of the Flower report,...