January 10, 2018
NVB are delighted to have reached the longlist for the RIBA Journal McEwen Award for their Frome Town Hall project. The Award focuses on projects which deliver community improvement or wider social benefit.
Frome Town Council had been operating in cramped unsuitable accommodation on a number of sites, mainly with poor public access and visibility. NVB were appointed when the council had the opportunity to buy an 1892 Public Office building which had latterly been used as back office accommodation by the county council. The challenge was to restore this elegant building to its original glory whilst creating an open democratic building to suit the Town Council’s innovative, collaborative ways of working.
In addition to publicly accessible areas and council offices, the restored building hosts a number of local organisations including a counselling charity and a local radio station and deals with the issues of privacy and technical performance which go along with this. Having also addressed modern requirements for fire safety and accessibility for all, the magnificent council chamber can now be used for presentations, social and community events, and in the long term, weddings, completing a neat circle back to the initial public consultations where one local resident recalled that their parents were married in that very room.