The Borough Hall
The Borough Hall was built as part of the former Greenwich Town Hall and is considered one of the most sophisticated and complete town hall complexes in London.
The complex opened in 1939 to great acclaim. It consisted of two main blocks, the Town Hall (now known as Meridian House) that contained administrative offices and the council chamber, and the Borough Hall, with its two public assembly halls for entertainment and social activities.
The design of the building is inspired by the architecture of Dutch modernist architect WM Dudok, in particular his Hilversum Town Hall. It is an asymmetrical composition of stacked volumes with clear lines and a clearly definable horizontal emphasis. The main elevations are faced with orange hand-made bricks, laid in a special bond to create a decorative striped pattern.
The building proved a popular and fashionable venue when opened and hosted celebrity performers of the day staging both concerts and plays.
After the boroughs of Greenwich and Woolwich merged in 1965 the administrative headquarters moved and the Town Hall section of the complex was sold to a private owner and completely refurbished at the loss of majority of the original interior. The Borough Hall remained in council ownership and continued in popularity as a main entertainment venue hosting a variety of live performance including music, theatre and dance.
In 1993 the building was let to Greenwich Dance Agency who continued to operate from the building until 2018.
This continued use for entertainment purposes has helped preserve the interior of The Borough Hall. Internally it retains its original plan form in its entirety and is almost completely intact in terms of fixtures and fittings including the marble lined stair and the original timber wall panelling to both halls. Original light fittings, doors, handrails, terrazzo floors and heating equipment all still remain. This high degree of intactness within the building as a whole is increasingly rare and adds to the building’s overall architectural and historical importance and interest.
Both buildings were listed Grade II as an ensemble in 1990. The site lies within the West Greenwich Conservation Area, and the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.
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