London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art

London, UK

A centre of excellence in performance training for the capital, LAMDA’s new home comprises twelve teaching studios and a fully-equipped theatre where a new generation of theatre leaders will cut their teeth.

The development includes a 200-seat adaptable theatre with full fly tower and support accommodation, foyers, dressing rooms and technical teaching areas.

In 2002 LAMDA made the decision to move their teaching school and theatre to a new site in Hammersmith. They purchased the old Royal Ballet School site between the Talgarth Road and the Piccadilly Line. The site is positioned between a six-lane highway and a railway line and presented considerable challenges for a teaching environment - most notably traffic noise, railway noise and pollution. At the same time, it is an extraordinarily high profile location with great visibility. The brief was for an exciting building that relishes the gritty urban qualities of its location and produces robust, calm spaces for learning.


LAMDA exterior

LAMDA took the decision to move their teaching school and theatre to a new site in Hammersmith, West London in 2002.

The exterior of the Níall McLaughlin Architects designed home for LAMDA.

The new building is on the former site of the Royal Ballet School.

We worked with the Níall McLaughlin Architects to consolidate LAMDA’s disparate and remote teaching sites onto this single-site campus in Hammersmith. The development includes a 200-seat adaptable theatre with full fly tower and support accommodation, foyers, dressing rooms and technical teaching areas. There is also a studio theatre, a TV studio, ten further rehearsal and teaching studios, along with music practice rooms, classrooms and office accommodation.

“...visual modesty belies how well provisioned it is. The fly tower in particular, allowing students to train for working in Edwardian or Victorian theatres, was a real coup for the school.”

The Architects’ Journal

The adaptable theatre was designed and professionally equipped to provide students with experience of operating the variety of technical systems they are likely to use as post-graduates.

A tension wire grid provides safe rigging access over the auditorium.

The flexible studio theatre is equipped with an internally wired pipe grid and full stagelighting and audiovisual infrastructure.

The building contains more than twelve teaching spaces.

The adaptable theatre was designed and professionally equipped to provide students with an experience of operating the variety of technical systems they are likely to use as post-graduates. The full height fly tower is equipped with both single and double purchase counterweight systems spaced to allow for further expansion in the future. A trapped area within the stage provides the option for both scenic uses or as an orchestra pit. A tension wire grid provides safe rigging access over the auditorium. Full stagelighting and audiovisual infrastructure run throughout the theatre and backstage areas.

The flexible studio theatre is equipped with an internally wired pipe grid and full stagelighting and audiovisual infrastructure. A fully-accessible mezzanine floor houses an open control position.

“Spaces for performance need to feel sacred, that what you’re doing couldn’t happen anywhere else. That’s why you need to build somewhere as special as this.”

Paterson Joseph, LAMDA alum

Plan drawing of LAMDA.

Section drawing of LAMDA.

Project Details

Client

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)

Project cost

£18.9m

Completed

2017

Awards

RIBA London regional award nominee

The full height fly tower is equipped with both single and double purchase counterweight systems spaced to allow for further expansion in the future.

Credits

Structural engineer

Pell Frischmann

MEP consultant (stages C-D)

Max Fordham

MEP consultant (stages E- L)

Pell Frischmann

Quantity surveyor/cost consultant/project manager

BAQUS

Main contractor

Volker Fitzpatrick

Photography

Nick Kane

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Paul Franklin

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