Performing centre to transform school atmosphere

South Hampstead High School has commissioned Broadway Malyan to design a state-of-the-art performance venue

The £3m project will see the transformation of Waterlow Hall at the school into a fully flexible performing arts centre that can accommodate 12 different layouts. It will be able to be used as a professional-standard concert hall accommodating an audience of up to 400 and musical ensemble.

Dan Fleming, who led the design project for Broadway Malyan, said the aspiration for the project was to create a facility that continued to elevate the school’s performing arts offer while also providing a high-quality venue that could be used by both the school and the local community.

He said: “Waterlow Hall is currently a functional space used by the school for exams and assemblies and some performances but it is a visually unappealing space, suffers from poor acoustics and lacks the necessary infrastructure and flexibility to meet the school’s needs.

It will dramatically transform the atmosphere and experience for both performer and audience

“The design proposal works within the spatial constraints of the existing structure to create a performance space that focuses on supporting and encouraging creativity at the new ‘heart’ of South Hampstead High School. It will dramatically transform the atmosphere and experience for both performer and audience while providing significant additional utility in the everyday life of the school.”

The refurbishment will include the installation of a new floating timber floor throughout the hall and rhomboid tiered seating that will retract back into a concealed storage cupboard when they are not required.

The project will also include the installation of a decorative LED lighting system inspired by the Canadian National Music Centre in Calgary, amplifying the performance space while also having the ability to adapt to the diverse lighting requirements in the hall.

It will be completed in November 2019.

You might also like: What is the value of the arts in independent education?

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