Fairfield Halls London, United Kingdom

SSV helps revitalise a South London gem

Fairfield Halls

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Phoenix Concert Hall as at Sept. 16, 2019; Photo Hufton+Crow, courtesy Croydon Council

Sound Space Vision is delighted that its latest project, Fairfield Halls, opened in mid-September 2019 after a three-year restoration and renovation led by MICA Architects.

After completing a feasibility study for the council-owned building in 2011, Sound Space Vision was appointed in 2016 and charged with completely replacing the performance lighting, sound, and communications infrastructure for all of the Halls’ performance spaces – the Phoenix Concert Hall, the Ashcroft Playhouse, the Arnhem Foyer, and The Rec and Talawa studios.

In the 1,800-seat Phoenix Concert Hall we focused on restoring the canopy to its original appearance for unamplified events by raising the loudspeakers, rigging and cabling through the canopy when not required. Acoustic banners have also been integrated through the auditorium to better serve amplified events.

In the Ashcroft Playhouse we reconfigured the stalls’ layout to accommodate 50 more seats, bringing the theatre’s total capacity up to 800, to provide additional revenue. For both the Phoenix and the Ashcroft, Sound Space Vision’s brief was to refurbish the existing seating – replacing only when necessary – to preserve the design integrity of the original Halls within the limited budget.

Overall, this refurbishment, including SSV’s interventions, have built upon the strong cultural heritage of the Halls, restoring and improving the spaces in sympathy with its original appearance.

Fairfield Halls_01

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The two main auditoria have been brought up to date, with new heating and ventilation, additional stage infrastructure and retractable acoustic blinds in the concert hall for amplified music, while the Ashcroft theatre has been expanded by 50 seats, hitting the 800-seat sweet spot to attract more touring productions.

Oliver Wainwright

The Guardian Sept. 18, 2019

Fairfield Halls – 02

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A rousing reopening for a first-class concert hall ****

Ian Hewitt

Daily Telegraph, September 19, 2019

Fairfield Halls – 03

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[Director Thom] Southerland has…showcased…the potential of the recently refurbished Ashcroft at the Fairfield Halls.

Paul Vale

The Stage, September 26, 2019 (review of Ashcroft Playhouse opening production of Angela's Ashes)

Fairfield Halls – 04

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The main concert hall’s regal red seats have been selectively refurbished, and now look just as smart as they did when Fairfield Halls opened the first time around, in 1962…There are also 50 new seats in the smaller Ashcroft Theatre, bringing it up to 800.

Will Noble

Londonist, September 27, 2019

Phoenix Concert Hall as at Sept. 16, 2019; Photo Hufton+Crow, courtesy Croydon Council
Phoenix Concert Hall as at Sept. 16, 2019; Photo Hufton+Crow, courtesy Croydon Council
Phoenix Concert Hall as at Sept. 16, 2019; Photo Hufton+Crow, courtesy Croydon Council
Phoenix Concert Hall as at Sept. 16, 2019; Photo Hufton+Crow, courtesy Croydon Council
Phoenix Concert Hall as at Sept. 16, 2019; Photo Hufton+Crow, courtesy Croydon Council
Ashcroft Playhouse as at Sept. 16, 2019; photo Hufton+Crow, courtesy Croydon Council
Arnhem Foyer; photo Hufton+Crow, courtesy Croydon Council
Rendering by MICA Architects
Rendering by MICA Architects