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Haworth Tompkins’ Battersea Arts Centre overhaul plans revealed

A courtyard theatre, linked performance stages and short-term homes for 24 artists are planned to transform EW Mountford’s former town hall

Haworth Tompkins has submitted plans to overhaul the Grade II*-listed Battersea Arts Centre in south-west London.

The application is the final instalment of a £13.3 million phased restoration of the former town hall which the practice has led since 2008. Due to complete in 2015, the latest project creates a courtyard theatre within the Edward William Mountford-designed hall alongside new offices and live-in accommodation for 24 artists.

Creative start-up spaces, linked performance areas and a new lift are also proposed for the 1893 Edwardian Baroque building.

Battersea Arts Centre artistic director David Jubb said a ‘uniquely iterative’ design process – which he described as ‘play grounding’ – allowed the organisation and architect to test ideas before finalising the brief and help reduce projected costs by £4 million.

He said: ‘We are creating a 21st-century theatre in a 19th-century town hall. We are
more interested in it being a town hall – a found space rather than a dedicated or purpose-built space.’

The organisation already has consent for conservation works and a 1,600m² landscaped outdoor area with café seating. A new bar and entrance, also designed by the practice, opened earlier this year.

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