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Sunday20 August 2017

Rick Mather Architects completes Lyric Hammersmith extension

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£13.5m project is culmination of practice’s 17-year masterplan

Rick Mather Architects has finished a £13.5 million extension for the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, described as the most significant cultural development in west London for decades.

The project, which completes a five-phase masterplan first drawn up by the practice in 1998, has created London’s first fully integrated producing and teaching theatre.

The new-build extension contains four large spaces for theatre, film and dance as well as smaller facilities such as a recording suite, music practice rooms, a sensory space, workshop, wardrobe and offices.

They are arranged around a top-lit, triple-height foyer which also powers the natural ventilation system.

The circulation flows around the stage to the existing foyer and bar areas and back down to the ground floor entrance on to Lyric Square, an outdoor space which can be programmed as an extension of the theatre.

The work also included modifications to the existing theatre which was created in the 1970s when Frank Matcham’s 1895 interior was placed inside a concrete box as part of a shopping centre development along Hammersmith’s main King Street.

The new 2,500sq m extension adjoins three old storeys on top of the shopping centre and was designed both to complement the existing building and to reunify the theatre with the busy street and square below.

The King Street elevation features n 8m glass wall with an aluminium brise soleil which cantilevers above the new glass shop fronts of the newly refurbished shopping centre below.

Once fully operational the theatre expects up to 200 young people a day to use the Reuben Foundation Wing for training and other activities.

 

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