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FIRST LOOK

BuckleyGrayYeoman completes performing arts centre for Highgate school

  • 2 Comments

The professional-standard facility at Channing School is equipped with rigging and lighting that can be operated by children

The 790m² flexible auditorium designed by BuckleyGrayYeoman will be used for both rehearsal and performance, and can be configured as either a 250-seat theatre or a 90m² performance space overlooked by two tiers of gallery seating. Additionally, the space can be operated as a ‘black box’ environment or can be naturally lit by three-storey windows.

pab bgy james jones 2018 2

The theatre has been fitted with equipment and rigging which can be operated by students, introducing the technical aspects of theatre production to their education programme. A cable grid suspended above the three-storey auditorium space allows small groups of students to access and organise lighting configurations.

The completion of the performing arts centre marks the final phase of BuckleyGrayYeoman’s six-year spatial masterplan for the independent girl’s school in Highgate, which has also created a new sports facility and sixth-form accommodation on a constrained site in the Highgate Conservation Area.

Architect’s view

The completion of the Performing Arts Centre also marks the completion of a six-year masterplanning project that has achieved a minor revolution on Channing’s Highgate campus. Working within the constraints of a densely used site within a conservation area, we’ve been able to create more than 2,300m² of high-quality specialised facilities that enable Channing to provide unique education experiences to enhance the core curriculum. They will encourage the practical and collaborative learning experiences that build life skills to complement the school’s high academic standards.

Paul White, director, BuckleyGrayYeoman

bgy cs ground floor plan

Ground floor plan

Project data

Start on site April 2016
Completion date June 2018
Gross internal floor area 790m²
Form of contract Traditional (phase 2) with CDP
Construction cost £6 million
Architect BuckleyGrayYeoman
Client Channing School
Structural engineer Heyne Tillett Steel
M&E consultant Cundall
QS Stace
Planning consultant Rolfe Judd
Landscape consultant Churchmans
Project manager WT Partnership
Approved building inspector MLM
Main contractor Barley McNaughton (phase 1); Curo Construction (phase 2)
CAD software used Vectorworks

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Talk of the site being within a conservation area suggests that a site / location plan - and maybe some more images of the wider context - would have been useful.
    In the AJ in recent years there seems to have been some evidence that some architects and planning authorities (in the London area, anyway) are showing scant regard to what makes a conservation area.

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  • It amazes me what facilities are available for an 'independent day school' - meanwhile the plebs receive basic facilities that are barely acceptable for their purpose. Onwards and upwards!

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