The Toynbee Hall project involved the complete refurbishment of a Grade 2 listed building in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The building is the home of a charity with the same name whose purpose is to help bridge the gap between people of all social and financial backgrounds, with a focus on working towards a future without poverty. The Lottery funded development is also referred to as a “Powerhouse for Social Change”
Toynbee Hall was created in the late nineteenth century by Church of England vicar, Samuel Barnett, to a growing realisation that enduring social change would not be achieved through the existing individualised and piecemeal approaches which existed at the time. The radical vision was to create a place for future leaders to live and work as volunteers in London’s East End, bringing them face to face with poverty, and giving them the opportunity to develop practical solutions. Toynbee Hall works on the frontline to tackle poverty and social injustice. Their youth and older people’s projects, advice services and financial inclusion work are all geared towards supporting those who live in some of the most deprived conditions in the UK. They work with the community not only to support them in times of crisis but to move them beyond crisis by providing them with the skills and support they need to create a more sustainable future.
The mechanical works involved new gas fired boilers, underfloor heating, ventilation with comfort cooling and a BMS system to optimise the building. Reclaimed and refurbished cast iron radiators, known as “Chubby Churchill’s” were fitted within the lecture halls.
The electrical package consisted of new distribution, fire alarm, CCTV and LED lighting. Within the heritage areas of the project, the original glass lamp shades were refurbished and re-used, keeping the historic feel of the building.