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Lyric Hammersmith by Rick Mather Architects

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Rick Mather completes the final phase of a 17 year long development to create London’s first fully integrated production and teaching theatre, writes David Watson

The architect’s view

Project description

Rick Mather Architects began working with The Lyric Hammersmith in 1998 and had delivered two major phases of development before this third and largest project began in 2007. Our brief was to maximise the potential of the podium rooftop directly behind the existing theatre. The site is located above a shopping mall and is surrounded by 1970s offices and residential blocks on two sides but has a very public frontage above Kings Mall on King Street. The ‘extension’ would more than double the accommodation for an organisation with unparalleled dynamic output, outreach and inclusion.

The accommodation includes four large highly technical, flexible and robust spaces for theatre, film and dance, all at the existing stage level. The new theatre studio matches the size of the existing stage. Smaller facilities provided include a recording suite with separate studios for music, radio, TV and film editing; music practice rooms; a digital play space; a sensory space; workshop; wardrobe; meeting and seminar rooms and staff offices. All are arranged around a dramatic, bright, new triple-height foyer, which also powers the natural ventilation strategy. The new circulation space flows directly beneath and around the stage to the existing foyer, café bars and terraces, then back down to the ground-floor entrance and performance spaces on the town square.

On this heavily constrained rooftop, hidden above bustling King Street, we were briefed to deliver ‘the most significant cultural development in West London for decades’. Working with the unique vision and energy of the Lyric, we now have a refurbished existing building and have helped to create London’s first fully integrated production and teaching theatre.

  • David Watson, associate, Rick Mather Architects


Project data

Start on site Jan 2013
Completion December 2014
Gross internal floor area 2,500m2 (new build only)
Form of contract JCT 2011 design and build
Construction cost £13,500,000 (total contract value)
Construction cost per m2 £2,740
Architect Rick Mather Architects
Client London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with Lyric Hammersmith
Structural engineer Pell Frischmann
M&E consultant Mott Macdonald
QS EC Harris
Sustainability consultant Mott Macdonald
Breeam consultant Rickaby Thompson Associates
Acoustic consultant Sandy Brown Associates Fire consultant FiSEC
Theatre consultant Charcoal Blue
Access consultant David Bonnett Associates
Project manager EC Harris
CDM Co-ordinator EC Harris
Approved building inspector London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Main contractor Mace
CAD software used MicroStation

Specified products

Linear LED handrail lighting
Malisa S-LED 12 x 16mm medium-output 2,700K linear light by Malisa Lighting; aluminium finish to light fixing and brushed stainless steel handrail

Directional LED spotlights
Beacon Muse Spotlight by Concord 051049, LED L3 3,000K – PPC white and black

Aluminium powder coated metal framing
Syntha Pulvin, Gloss Finish Traffic Grey B G2L0529 RAL 7043

Upholstery leather for banquette seating
Alma Leather London, Firenze 4-1680-2076

Rubber flooring
2mm Noraplan Uni Rubber Floor, colour 245

Perforated MDF acoustic panel
Lawapan Trend 600x1,200mm and bespoke corners finished in white laquer

Ceramic tiles in bar
Solus Ceramics, custom print

Internal concrete surfacing
Mass Concrete cementitious resin on ply or MDF Carbon Black, BB12

Flooring to new foyer
Junckers 20.5mm Wideboard Black Oak, oiled

Carpet to circulation spaces and studios
Heckmondwike Supacord carpet tile, Steel Grey

Veneered MDF acoustic panel
Soundsorba Lawapan 1,200 x 600mm wall panels, butt jointed with bespoke reveals and corners

Formica veneer to stalls bar
Formica, patterned veneer, Virr Varr Black

Formica veneer to stalls bar
Formica, ColourCore veneer, red

Cable balustrade, new foyer stair
Jakob, Tensile Cable 6mm stainless steel

Black fabric
Kvadrat, Cava 192

Bespoke timber profiles
Fireclad, European white oak



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