Buxton’s grade II listed Town Hall was built in 1889 as a replacement for the former market hall on the same site, which burnt down in 1885 less than 30 years after completion. Designed by William Pollard of Manchester, the Town Hall originally housed a grand ballroom, an arcade of shops, and a public library.
Bench Architects were appointed by High Peak Borough Council in 2014 to carry out a comprehensive condition survey of the building. In tandem, an options appraisal and feasibility study was carried out with the principal aim of obtaining more efficient use of the ballroom, which had been subdivided for office use several decades prior.
Several options were developed, each proposing that the existing subdivisions and suspended ceiling in the ballroom be removed, creating open-plan accommodation to meet increased demand for office space. An option to insert a new suspended mezzanine in the ballroom was also developed, with the intention of further increasing the available floor area while maintaining good natural daylight to the original ballroom level.