This is the culmination of a 12-year restoration project of the Grade II* Listed building which was extended when a devastating fire destroyed its Grand Hall.
Envisioned as an improvisatory collaboration with artists, theatre producers and locals, the client brief for Battersea Arts Centre was for creative and community activity; in response to this HT have increased the number of performance spaces from 4 to 35, incorporated artists’ bedrooms, a new rooftop office and staff garden, a creative business hub, a community garden and a courtyard theatre. Architect and client worked as equal partners throughout the process, sharing design authorship and inviting creative collaborations; since 2006, a series of experimental phased projects have transformed the building into an adaptive performance environment and community centre.
In the context of this incremental, narrative approach, the rebuilding of the Grand Hall after the 2015 fire that partially destroyed it was assimilated as another, albeit highly significant, project. The surviving structural brick shell has been stabilised and repaired to support reconstructed roofs, while the pattern of the original decorative fibrous plaster barrel vaulted ceiling, lost in the fire, has inspired a new plywood lattice ceiling which springs from the flanking walls and follows the same curvature as the original. New technical infrastructure concealed in the roofspace above the lattice ceiling allows natural ventilation, greater theatrical possibility and a variable acoustic to suit a range of events.
This event is part of our Great British Buildings series of talks and tours around the country.
- Non Member: £10.00
- RIBA Member/Friend: £7.50
- Student/Concession: £5.00