Lee Valley Estates acquired the former Grade II listed Leyton Municipal Offices to restore the building to its former glory after a period of disuse and give it a new lease of life for residential, leisure and business use. The refurbishment was a major driver in the regeneration of Leyton and part of the permanent legacy of the 2012 Olympics.
Designed by architect John Johnson in 1898, the imposing red brick and Portland stone building was described in a government listing of the day as being in a ‘rich Victorian Eclectic classical manner’.
The multi-million pound re-development and restoration was a long way from the original build cost in 1894 of £17,286. Such was the importance of the building to Leyton, it was opened with great fanfare by the Duke and Duchess of York and even immortalised in an illustration in Punch Magazine. To honour the building’s history, the original plaques with the names of former councillors and photographs charting the building’s past adorn the walls.
Lee Valley Estates maintained and restored the striking exterior including its terracotta panels with scrolling foliage, friezes of terracotta swags and ornate corner buttresses.
Internally, the magnificent spacious rooms, some as high as 50ft and many of them wood panelled, were restored and the halls were painted in the original burgundy and cream colours. The impressive Great Hall, measuring 76ft by 46ft, was painstakingly refurbished, including the ornate tiled ceiling and even the original 1930s Tannoy speakers. An important community venue of its day, The Great Hall is again used for functions such as weddings, receptions, corporate and other social and community events.
At the heart of the development is the 10,500 sq ft Legacy E10 Business Centre with elegant offices enjoyed by a range of local businesses including solicitors, accountants and architects. Upwards of 70 people are currently employed at the centre.
The residential section of 34 apartments comprises private homes and affordable family homes for rent by local people.