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Nicholas Hare bags approval for new London Film School

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Nicholas Hare Architects has won planning permission to create a new home for the London Film School at the Barbican centre in London

Earlier today (14 July) the City of London’s planning and transportation committee approved the plans which will provide new cinemas, shooting stages, editing suites, post production facilities in addition to a new entrance and café space, teaching and office accommodation.

The school will be contained within two levels of unused space at Exhibition Hall One within the listed Barbican complex.

A report by officers said: ‘It is considered that the proposed external alterations represent high quality contemporary design that would sympathetically upgrade the listed building and would not detract from the setting of nearby designated heritage assets.’

The proposals received 22 letters of objection, mainly relating to fears the new facilities would constitute a change of use.

However, officers said: ‘In this instance, there would not be a change between use classes, as a film school (an educational establishment) and an exhibition hall both fall within Class D1 use.’

The main structure of the exhibition hall was completed to the designs of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon in 1965-71 as part of the Barbican Estate, and fitted out in 1979-81 by John and Sylvia Reid.

The building, along with much of the Barbican, is brutalist in style and has elevations of steel-framed curtain walling, beneath an exposed bushhammered concrete-swept parapet.

The eastern part of the hall has already been converted to form new cinemas and associated facilities. The proposal will allow London Film School to relocate to the Barbican from Covent Garden.

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, managing director of the Barbican, said: ‘The London Film School will be a perfect addition to the developing cultural hub in the Barbican area.’


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