Structure’s refound civic significance adapted to serve the modern city
East RIBA Regional Award 2019
John McAslan + Partners for St Albans City and District Council
Contract value: £7.75m
Cost per m²: £484
This project has revealed a previously overlooked structure in a prominent location as an important civic building set at the commercial and cultural heart of the city. Working with a magnificent first floor ballroom, with windows looking out over the shops and market stalls, and an octagonal Magistrates’ Court, the architect took on much more than simple conservation of the fabric. It aimed to re-find the civic significance of the structure and adapt its purpose to serve the modern city. It excavated a new basement gallery, which can now house touring shows, and created a new, grand entrance. The depth and importance of this building has been revealed in a gently, thoughtful and profound way.