Following major restoration work to bring it back to its former glory, Stoke Newington Town Hall reopened to the public in February 2010. Hawkins\Brown was commissioned by Hackney Council and worked closely with English Heritage, including consultation with the local community and stakeholder groups, to fully refurbish and bring the much loved civic building back into the heart of the local community, providing a unique and historic setting for events. The Grade II listed Art Deco building, designed by J. Reginald Truelove and built in the 1930s, has been carefully restored and refurbished to preserve its original features whilst providing flexible spaces with state-of-the-art audio visual and technical facilities. The historic building will provide two unique spaces for community use and private hire: the Council Chamber and Assembly Hall. The restoration project, which began in June 2008, is being funded by Hackney Council and complements other projects in the area to provide improved facilities for local people, such as the restoration of Clissold Park and House. A new contemporary entrance and reception foyer of bespoke precast decorative concrete cladding and sealed glazed walls and roof has been created in a former passageway and store area to unify the two spaces. The addition of new lifts and external ramps makes the building more accessible. The reception incorporates historical elements of the building, including the exposed brickwork of a Tudor mansion that originally stood on the site. Carefully preserved camouflaged paintwork on the external walls, is surviving evidence of the building’s use also as the area’s civil defense head quarters during WWII. Hawkins\Brown has retained and restored the original features in the Council Chamber including a dramatic plaster domed ceiling, vaulted galleries, Australian walnut timber paneling and ornamental gold cornicing, complimenting these features with a bespoke contemporary lighting and furniture scheme. The removal of non-original fixtures and fittings and restoration of the bronze balustrade to the original Art Deco sweeping timber staircase emphasizes the grand entrance to the Chamber. A new roof light above highlights its restoration. Refurbishment of the Assembly Hall included upgrading the sprung Canadian maple dance floor and reinstating a suspended 1.5-metre diameter mirror ball at the centre of the hall. Reputed to be one of the largest in Europe, it evokes the room’s dance hall days of previous years, when Jazz greats George Melly and Eartha Kitt performed there. The existing dressing rooms have been extensively refurbished with modern facilities and the original cloakrooms below the Assembly Hall have been refurbished and adapted to create fully accessible toilets. The original coat rails, pegs and timber partitions are incorporated into the new cubicles. A bar has been reinstated adjacent to the Assembly Hall and a new kitchen space has been created to cater for functions. Hawkins\Brown’s restoration revives the building’s existing palette of materials (original brick, Portland stone, fibrous plaster, slate roof tiles, hardwood veneers and York Stone paving) and complements this with a modern palette of bronze, reconstituted stone, concrete, glass and stainless steel.