Renovation of Shaftesbury Hall

Shaftesbury Hall with new NLS facility
Shaftesbury Hall with new NLS facility

I have been invited to be part of the design team  renovating  Shaftesbury Hall, a 19th century building in Haringey, north London. The design proposal includes a mural to visually enhance the exterior of the building which is an asset to the local community.

North London Samaritans (NLS) own the ‘Tin Tabermacle’ and intend to use part of the facility to support local community members, particularly those who find themselves in a state of distress, despair or even suicidal. North London Samaritans also intend to renovate the hall for community use.

The concept proposals show how the hall can be retained and rejuvenated to modern standards of building performance, whilst retaining the qualities that have made the hall a cherished local building.

The methods and construction materials originally used were not intended to either be robust or to offer much in the way of insulation. Asbestos, now known to be very deleterious to health, is used on the roof. The walls, profiled ‘tin’ sheet externally, timber board cladding on the internal is uninsulated, no longer weather tight and beyond practical maintenance. Initial surveys indicate that the core structure is intact and could be refurbished. It is therefore proposed that the retained structure be clad with modern insulated profiled metal sheeting on both the walls and the roof.

The colour and profile will evoke the spirit of the original. Internally the structure would remain exposed as it is currently, walls will be painted boards and the floor a suspended real timber floor. Providing very much the feel and ambience of the original 19th century hall but in an envelope that has 21st century performance.

The defensive scale fencing is to be replaced with walling that suits the residential setting, with landscaping that is domestic in scale and easy to maintain.

At the rear of the hall the NLS will build a purpose facility, physically connected to the hall but distinctly separate visually and in operation, allowing the hall to function as a community facility without interference with the work of the NLS volunteers.The purpose built facility provides opportunity for a further community benefit in the form of a community mural/ art installation. This I very much support as it provides an opportunity for wider engagement and local ownership, particularly amongst local youth and school children who can be  given the opportunity to participate in the making of a community landmark.

Shaftesbury Hall footpath with proposed mural wall
Shaftesbury Hall footpath with proposed mural wall

NLS want to work with everyone who is interested from the local community to create a Tin Tabernacle for the 21st century.  I will  join the NLS and Paul Fletcher of Through Architecture in presenting the proposal at a community consultation at 19.30 on 10th July at Bounds Green School (Lower Junior Hall) For further information please visit


Time in the Studio

It’s June and the sun looks like it’s finally arrived. Not much to report on other than I’ve been spending most of my time in the studio creating some new work. I hope to share some of them with you very shortly.  One thing I have done is watch was this inspiring video about Picasso. If your Spanish isn’t great there are subtitles!