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Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London by David Hughes Architects

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Original materials have been left exposed to show the building’s history, writes David Hughes

The architect’s view

Park Theatre wanted an outstanding, welcoming and friendly venue, within an old office building, providing: two playhouses (a 200-seat main house and a flexible 80-100 seat studio space); a café/bar, a multi-function rehearsal space, dressing rooms and all the back-of-house facilities needed for the theatre to run successfully.

The existing building was extended and converted, with original materials exposed and kept where possible to show the historic fabric. The entire building was privately financed through developing and selling three upper floor flats, donations, fund raising and philanthropic grants. This required discipline in the design and specification and we worked tirelessly with the client team to ensure every penny counted.

We wanted as much natural light as possible on the long thin site. Rooflights and glazing are used throughout for front of house areas, main circulation spaces, offices, dressing rooms and the large ‘shop front’ bay window. Both auditoria feature
large rooflights, which are blacked out for performances. They also incorporate programmable colour-changing LED house lighting which can transform the colour of the whole theatre space.

  • David Hughes, director, David Hughes Architects

Project data

Start on site June 2011
Completion May 2013
Gross internal floor area 1,100m²
Form of contract JCT Intermediate 2009
Construction cost £2,500,000
Construction cost per m² £2,272
Client Park Theatre
Structural engineer Hardman Engineers
M&E consultant DSA and Apple Sustainability
Theatre lighting design Julian McCready and Roger Hennigan
Architectural lighting design Hoare Lea Lighting
Graphic and signage design Feast Creative
Theatre sound design Theo Holloway
Building acoustics Sharpes Redmore
Theatre acoustics Byron Harrison
CAD software used Vectorworks, Artlantis

Specified products

Red render to front elevation

SPS Envirowall Insulated Render system

Granol KR Acrylic Topcoat; RAL 3001; 1mm grain


Grey render to front elevation

SPS Envirowall Insulated Render system

Granol KR Acrylic Topcoat; RAL 7012; 2mm grain


Brick to ground floor front elevation

Ibstock, Bexhill Purple Multi 4033


Atrium rooflight

Roofglaze Monopitch, PPC aluminium-framed, double-glazed low-E rooflight


Colour change LEDs to auditorium

NJO Linear projector, LIN RGB; dimmable DMX driver


Downlighter, first floor bar

Concord Intro Fixed 50W Tungsten Halogen


Pendant lamp, ground floor bar

Plumen, Plumen 001



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