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Battersea Arts Centre

Shortlist 2019

Battersea Arts Centre

Location: London
Architect: Haworth Tompkins
Structural engineer: Heyne Tillett Steel
Main contractor: 8 Build
Joinery: Joinery Fixing and Finishing Ltd
Wood supplier: IBL
Wood species: European tulipwood and birch

Battersea Arts Centre is an 1890’s grade II* listed building. In March 2015, a fire broke out in the northern half of the building destroying the roof to the largest performance space. The original decorative plaster barrel vaulted ceiling was completely lost. Rather than replicating the lost ceiling, a contemporary plywood lattice ceiling was conceived. The new ceiling follows the curvature of the original and echoes the motifs in the plasterwork. It is much more porous and suitable for a modern theatre’s requirements. The new ceiling is constructed of three layers of 18mm thick birch-faced plywood. Many apertures provide multiple rigging and lighting positions from the technical walkway built into the roof space above. Hidden banners within the roof space provide a variety of acoustic options.