WELCOME

INITIAL IDEAS

UNLOCKING THE BUILDING'S POTENTIAL

INVOLVING PEOPLE

MAKING PLANS

PLAYGROUNDING CASE STUDIES

FINDING FUNDING

THE MASTER PLAN

EXPLORE THE PLANS

CREATING A 21ST CENTURY PERFORMANCE ENVIRONMENT WITHIN THE EXISTING 19TH CENTURY BUILDING

In April 2012 we completed the RIBA Stage C process which acts as our masterplan. Consolidating the learning from each stage of the project, the masterplan lays out the specific plans for what is to be achieved, and how.

Over the course of development the ideas from the Advanced Feasibility Study have been tested, through Playgrounding, defining and refining the aims and strategies. This is supported by consultation from staff, external stakeholders and our audiences and community during the development of the scheme to this phase.

The masterplan is structured around five pillars which have evolved over the course of the project to encompass every initiative within the overall concept. Below is a summary of the main points of the masterplan, and a complete overview is available in the documents below.

RIBA Stage C here
RIBA Stage D (HLF) here 
RIBA Stage D here

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PERFORMANCE

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PERFORMANCE

To create a promenade of a dozen flexible performance spaces on the first floor that can be used together or individually, creating the UK’s most radical performance terrain and giving artists and audiences an exciting set of possibilities for theatre.

  • Creation of continuous first floor performance environment

  • Opening up and raising of courtyard

  • Grand Hall theatre seating solution

  • Lower Hall reconfiguration and refurbishment

  • Building wide ‘plug and play’ infrastructure

  • Technical offices

  • Storage areas

  • New dressing rooms to first floor and extended wc provision

  • Kitchen serving Council Chamber

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HOME

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HOME

To provide residential accommodation for up to 24 artists. To develop hosting and event spaces for eating and congregation. To provide effective working accommodation for over 20 start-up companies to grow and thrive. To provide creative and administrative space for developing new ideas in crafts and design, performance, film and music.

  • New bedrooms on second floor

  • Opening up of bar and Waiting Room to foyer

  • Bees Knees permanent installation

  • Refurbishment of Lower Hall

  • New front of house facilities to Lower Hall area

  • New attic offices for Battersea Arts Centre staff

  • Hub for local creative businesses in Lower Hall office space

ACCESS

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ACCESS

To open up the whole building for public use and introduce a lift that will provide level access to all floors. To create a softer entrance to the building through gardens and a terrace at the top of Town Hall Road, to create an excellent Café Bar space and re-open Mountford’s original courtyard as a light well in the centre of the building.

  • Improvements to external presence with Lavender Hill signage installation and Town Hall Road landscaping

  • New ramped entrance to the bar

  • New ramp to Grand Hall entrance

  • New level access to Lower Hall

  • Improvements to circulation with new large lift and lift linking Grand Hall and Lower Hall

  • New routes around the courtyard

  • Upgrades to doors, staircases and lighting

  • New signage, including Braille sign

  • Induction loops

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RESILIENCE


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RESILIENCE

To restore the original fabric of the building and to create a sustainable infrastructure that includes heating the building with wood burners set in original fireplaces, maximising natural light and ventilation above and other non-mechanical solutions. To repair leaking roofs, crumbling brickwork and masonry, and install thermal insulation in loft cavities and a new energy efficient heating system.

  • Wood burning stoves in two first floor rooms 

  • Secondary glazing to roof light over Octagonal Hall 

  • Double glazing to roof lights over principal staircase, Grand Hall bar and atrium 

  • Double glazing to many windows building-wide 

  • Repair and insulation of flat roofs 

  • Installation of meters to enable continuous monitoring of energy consumption 

  • Replacement of lamps with low energy ones

  • Insulation of roof spaces and essential repairs to roof coverings

HERITAGE

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HERITAGE

To bring artefacts and building history to life from the bee motif mosaic floors to the Grand Hall Atrium and marble Grand Stair staircases. To repair the pipe organ in the Grand Hall (the largest example of Robert Hope-Jones’s work who went on to invent the Wurlitzer) and establish a digital archive.

  • Relocation of Lower Hall entrance to original location

  • Removal of timber boxes to Grand Hall gable ends and removal of projection box

  • Restoration of Grand Hall organ

  • Repairs to glass mosaic flooring

  • Repairs to Grand Hall glazed dome

  • Repairs to external brickwork and decorative stonework

  • Restoration of Grand Hall canopy and Theatre Street lantern

  • Infrastructure for heritage installations

  • Physical and digital archive set up in partnership with Wandsworth Borough Council

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TOP TIPS

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TOP TIPS

Throughout the process, we have been learning from our mistakes and successes. Below is a list of tips we have compiled along the way.

  • Running a major building project is like working in a different language. You will need to learn it or you will need to get a good translator that you trust.

  • Stay hands on. Care about the soap dispensers but keep an eye on the bigger picture and don’t get lost in the detail.

  • Explore ideas first. Test them rigorously. Believe in your architect... they are an artist. But make it a co-production… not a straight hire.

  • Plan as much as you can in advance but as much as you try you will never have thought of everything. So be ready to make quick decisions on site and have enough capacity to deal with these.

     
  • Nobody knows best. However brilliant the architect, the design team, the contractor, your staff, you. All you can do is listen to everyone and make the best compromise possible at the time.

  • No matter how many times you think you've told your staff/audience/stakeholders about your project.. do it again. And again. And again. Clearly and consistently.

  • Your project is not your house! Feel passionately about it and care about the detail but someone else will be in the building in 5 or 10 or 15 years and you need to make sure you've prepared it for them.

  • Working with contractors will be completely different from working with your design team, which will be completely different to working with your staff, artists and audiences. The language of contracts can feel litigious, the relationships strained and the blame culture can get higher. Be prepared for this, accommodate and allow for it but stick to your guns on collaboration. If you are open to changing your style, so will others.

  • Approach every problem with a suggested solution or an open mind. There will be lots of people who just point their finger in another direction or shrug their shoulders. It’s so important not to fall into this habit.

  • Be quick at getting back to people. One small problem can cause lots of knock-on issues so the sooner you can solve it, the sooner you can get moving.

  • It is so important to involve your staff team at every step - but make sure you have one person that is the core connection with the Design team. Otherwise communication gets muddy and instructions go flying all over the place.

  • Don't advertise the reopening date until at least 2 weeks after you think it will reopen. In fact, maybe don’t advertise the reopening date at all!

  • If you are working on your building whilst you are open, make a feature of it, don’t just try and do the same but in a dusty and noisy place! Programme according to the works and communicate what you are doing with your audiences.

  • Communication is a full time job. It is something that needs staying on top of the whole time.

  • The way we talk to contractors is very important. It must be clear how we are instructing, who is instructing, how things are being instructed, what is a comment and what is an instruction. If you think you are being helpful and offering advice it may be misconstrued. Always ensure everything goes through your contract administrator.

  • Be really clear on what you want to be consulted on, how, and when. You don’t need to know every tiny change but you don’t want to be surprised. Make sure the process for change control is clear and that there is a way of implementing it that fits in with your day job.

  • Keeping the risks close to the organisation and managing them carefully can be more fruitful than seeking to push them as far away as possible – in our experience once you start pushing risks away you realise that this is exactly what everyone else does too.

  • Some of the best ideas come quite late in the process – extend the research and development phase so that the great late ideas can be realised.

CONSULTATION REPORTS

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The Conservation Management Statement

The Conservation Management Statement, commissioned by the English Heritage Society, was undertaken to fully research the historical, architectural, social, political and cultural significance of the building and to ensure that the appropriate level of care was being taken.

To download the full Conservation management Statement click here

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The Ten Year Management and Maintenance Plan

The Ten Year Management and Maintenance Plan was created by Bollingbrook LLP in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and Haworth Tompkins to fully assess the extent of repairs and maintenance necessary for the building.

To download the full Ten Year Management and Maintenance Plan click here

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The Project Execution Plan

The Project Execution Plan was developed by Battersea Arts Centre to communicate organisational structures by which the project will be delivered and controlled.

To download the full The Execution Plan click here

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