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Rick Mather takes on Fairfield Halls revamp

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Rick Mather Architects has become the latest practice to have been given the task of revamping Croydon’s Fairfield Halls

The ‘full-scale refurbishment’ of the 1962 south London venue, which currently houses a 1,700-seat concert hall, the 750-seat theatre and gallery spaces, is part of the wider redevelopment of College Green which will be delivered with engineers Mott MacDonald.

Keith Williams Architects (see AJ 19.01.10) and RHWL Arts Team have previously looked at proposals to overhaul the post-war concert hall which was used as a backdrop in the film The Da Vinci Code.

As well as reinvigorating the halls, the latest scheme will include a mix of homes, offices, shops and restaurants and aims to better connect the area to East Croydon station. The designs could include a new entrance on the Ashcroft side of the Fairfield Halls leading on to College Green.

Mather, known for its work on the Royal Festival Hall in central London and the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, hopes to submit a planning application by autumn this year (2015).

Jo Negrini, Croydon Council’s executive director of place, said: ‘This represents an important step forward in the cultural regeneration and economic development of the town centre.’

Keith Williams Architects' to oversee the revvamp of Fairfield Halls

Keith Williams Architects’ to oversee the revvamp of Fairfield Halls

Previous story (AJ 19.01.10)

Keith Williams bags Fairfield Halls revamp

Keith Williams Architects has landed the job to mastermind the long-term redevelopment of the Fairfield Halls Concert Hall and Arts Venue in Croydon, South London

The practice saw off competition from the likes of John McAslan & Partners and DSDHA to bag the project to overhaul the 1962 venue, which was used as a backdrop in the film The Da Vinci Code.

Designed in the 1950s, the Fairfield Halls currently house a 1,700-seat concert hall, the 750-seat Ashcroft Theatre community performance venue, as well as meeting spaces and an art gallery.

According to the practice, the building is ‘one of the few extant examples of a major early post-war concert hall and arts centre in the country’ and is reputed for its excellent acoustics.

Croydon Council, which launched an OJEU to find a design team to oversee the redevelopment strategy last year, wants to open up the halls to a ‘larger proportion of the local population’ and is looking to widen the uses within the building.

Steve Hollands, Croydon’s cabinet member for culture and sport said: ‘We need to create a venue suitable for artists and audiences in the 21st century which will contribute to the cultural life of the borough.

‘We want to restore the reputation of Fairfield Halls as one of the country’s leading performing arts venues.’

Factfile

Among the artists to have performed at the Halls have included Tangerine Dream, The Beatles, The Who, Morrissey, and Shakin’ Stevens.

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