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Battersea Arts Centre fire destroys grand hall

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The fire that raged through Battersea Arts Centre in south London on Friday (13 March) has destroyed the building’s grand hall

Around 80 firefighters and 12 fire engines were called to the blaze which tore through the 120-year-old landmark.

The fire crew managed to save two thirds of the grade II*-listed building, including its ‘priceless’ octagonal glass dome.

Station manager Matt Burrows, said: ‘Firefighters did a great job to save large parts of the building including the octagonal dome which I’m told is priceless and salvaged valuable art work. The centre are hopeful that they will be able to open unaffected areas of the building to the public today. We’ll continue to damp down and our fire investigators are inspecting the building to find the cause.’

David Jubb, the centre’s artistic director said the damage was ‘heartbreaking’ but that the organisation would ‘rebuild the building brick by brick’.

He added that the arts centre now has no offices, and no Grand Hall theatre and that it would have to ‘to re-establish a new financial model for the next 12 months’.  

The arts centre was undergoing the final phases of a £13.3million restoration programme led by 2014 Stirling Prize-winner Haworth Tompkins. Jubb added that the final phase of this refurbishment programme would go ahead as planned.

But despite the fire, the show went on at the arts venue, which held a performance in its debating chamber less than 24 hours after the fire had burned down the back half of the building.

Previous story (AJ 13.03.15)

Battersea Arts Centre engulfed by fire


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