Public Heritage in Public Hands

Adam Connolly

Project description

Public Heritage in Public Hands is a critique of our collective attitude towards civic heritage. We are eroding our shared memory and identity as pieces of public heritage across London are sold to private developers.

The project takes the ruin of Old West Ham Town Hall, Old West Ham Magistrates’ Court and Alice Billings House (a former firemen’s accommodation building) and reintroduces civic functions to build long-lasting community identity and offer an alternative to selling off similar sites for short-term gain. 

The new typology of a non-administrative centre challenges the historic typology of the town hall. Envisioned as a ruin, it is freed from its political context and assumes purely civic uses to serve the local community. The project imagines a future where a new municipal architecture can be meaningfully created. 

Adam Connolly


Adam Connolly

Grand Hall visual

Adam Connolly


From documenting the decay of derelict cottages at home in Derry, Adam has pursued his interest in forgotten spaces through to his thesis at the LSA which fights to maintain forgotten civic architecture within the city. 

Adam’s experience spans from innovative placemaking and social engagement projects in Northern Ireland with Urban Scale Interventions, to retrofit projects for the City of London working with historic buildings in the city.

Adam is focused on architecture that celebrates the past and tells a story, with ambitions to breathe new life into forgotten spaces around the world.