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Assael reveals extensive design changes after cinema plans finally win go-ahead

Assael Architecture has finally won planning for proposals to revamp the former Granada Cinema in Clapham after it was forced to carry out a major overhaul of its original design.

Both English Heritage (EH) and the Twentieth Century Society opposed the practice's initial proposals to build a flamboyant arched structure over the Grade II*-listed hall in London ( pictured below).

However, the architect came up with a revised scheme for a 'lightweight, double-height addition' which will sit on top of the derelict 1937 cinema.

The new designs have now been given the green light by Wandsworth Borough Council - a decision which has been backed by EH.

The latest in a long line of attempts to refurbish the building and its splendid Theodore Komisarjevsky interior, it is hoped the new development will see the cinema taken off EH's Buildings at Risk register.

Developed with engineers Adams Kara Taylor, the scheme will create 59 new apartments, almost half of which will be in the converted flytower.

Practice chief John Assael said: 'We were determined to find a solution to save this important Grade II*-listed building, without compromising its impressive and robust exterior. However the main goal has been to repair the Komisarjevsky interior.

He added: 'The building has been vacant for nine years and we are the third practice of architects appointed to mediate between all the parties. We are delighted that this Building at Risk now has a secure future.'

by Richard Waite

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