Project stakeholders have held a topping out ceremony at the Ovalhouse theatre scheme in Brixton, south London.
Forming part of Lambeth Council’s regeneration of Brixton’s Somerleyton Road, the new steel-framed theatre is being constructed as the focal point of a project that also includes 300 homes, workspaces and community facilities.
The Ovalhouse has been designed by Edmund Wilson of Foster Wilson Architects as a fully accessible space for both artists and audiences. It will contain two theatre spaces, rehearsal studios as well as high-quality training facilities and spaces designed to be used by the local community.
Ovalhouse, which is currently based in nearby Oval, has built its reputation on supporting new artists, working with young people and communities, and putting on shows.
According to Foster Wilson Architects, the design of the new theatre building is purposefully robust, with exposed materials, such as the steel frame, that are capable of adaption to individual performances, in keeping with the spirit of studio theatre.
Externally, the design of the building relates to the industrial architecture of Brixton and the early street lighting of nearby Electric Avenue, with a new anodized aluminium facade that incorporates a range of lighting and signage.
“Using structural steelwork was the obvious choice for this project as a lightweight frame was required because the Victoria underground line runs directly below the site, preventing any piling,’’ explains Conisbee Associate Denis Kealy.
‘We also needed a framing solution that could efficiently provide the long spans and column-free spaces within the building.”
The Ovalhouse is scheduled to open its doors in spring 2021.