Project: New Performing Arts Centre
Client: Ibstock Place School
Completion Date: Autumn 2015
The Performing Arts Centre was BHM Architect’s third major project for the School. It accommodated an ambitious brief on a tight, sloping site closely bordered by mature trees which gave rise to an exciting set of internal and external spaces.
While the primary emphasis was on drama, the auditorium was also designed to cater for music, lectures, film, assemblies, events and examinations. The building accommodates a spacious bar and function rooms for School events. BHM Architects focused on high end finishes and fixings in the entertaining spaces and situated the adjoining balcony to take advantage of Richmond Park’s views. The backstage houses comfort cooled changing rooms, showers, staff offices and a green room held within a glass box cantilevered over the stage door.
The main auditorium seats 300, and when fully retracted, the blue leather seating reveals a multi-use space with a semi-sprung oak floor. The lighting gantries maximise safe access for pupils and all suspensions, lighting and audio-visual equipment are to professional standards.
Oak noise diffusion panels line the auditorium walls and the raised stage features a tall suspensions loft and capacious wings. These lead to the scenery workshop and a 100 seat drama studio. A motorised orchestra lift can be set to form a thrust stage, flat floor or orchestra pit, or can be taken all the way down to access below-stage storage. A large series of traps were also provided.