A proud winner in the Wales RICS Awards 2015, a project involving the refurbishment of Llangefni Town Hall to create community facilities took the top honour in the Community Benefit category of the awards – as well as scooping a Highly Commended accolade in the Building Conservation section.
Held at Cardiff City Hall on 14th May, the awards recognise property professionals who continue to showcase their talent and ingenuity, creating stunning projects throughout Wales.
The £2.5m project was carried out for social enterprise organisation Menter Môn and designed by DEWIS architecture, with Dawnus Construction as main contractors. Advent was the Project and Cost Manager.
Speaking of the Llangefni Town Hall project, the judges said: “The original concept and design for the refurbishment of the Town Hall in Llangefni catalysed the vision of Menter Mon, a regional social enterprise to create a community building in the heart of this historic market town.
“The scheme gave careful consideration to the retention of the existing stonework and architectural features with selected local materials. The building, adjacent to the local open market, has created a focal meeting point for the community of Llangefni.
“This is evidenced by the full occupation of the office accommodation within the building and the consistent demand for the ground floor community space by a broad range of charitable and other social groups.”
The imposing Grade II Listed Town Hall has been a focal point for the town since it built in 1884 by the late Sir Richard Bulkeley. Originally named the Market Hall, as it was used to sell livestock, it was later sold to the council who renamed it the Town Hall. The council subsequently sold the building to Menter Môn.
The ground floor of the building is a community facility complete with reception, toilets, lift and large multi-purpose hall, with the first and second floors incorporating offices for Menter Môn and other community organisations.
The works included the complete stripping out of the building and the installation of a steel frame within, from ground level to just below roof height.
“This was needed because following a fire many years previously, the walls had a number of structural problems, so the steel frame tied in the outside walls properly and allowed us to introduce an extra floor and increase the floor area of the building,” said lead designer for the scheme Dewi Williams of DEWIS architecture.
Other works included the installation of new heating, lighting and plumbing and comprehensive new finishes internally.
Conservation works included masonry repairs, re-pointing, refurbishing windows and cast iron gutters and internal lime plastering.
“Winning the award was fantastic – especially as we weren’t expecting anything. It was really uplifting for the whole team – especially as it is a particularly prestigious award,” said Dewi Williams.
Winning the Community Benefit Category also means that the project will automatically be entered into the 2015 RICS Awards Grand Final on 16 October at The Dorchester Hotel, London.