London-based architects Jestico + Whiles have transformed the former Southwark Town Hall into a community theatre, with the aim of it blossoming into a creative hub for London students. With its smooth, shell-like facade, the new building not only allows for an ever-expanding programme of classes and events but is also used as accommodation for Goldsmiths College students.
In the building’s construction, Jestico + Whiles worked with theatre consultants Charcoal Blue, who have previously designed ‘Wonderlab’ at the Science Museum in Bradford and the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House. The new complex is a combination of reinvented and new buildings and consists of a 166 room development, including private student gardens, lounges and common rooms. The site also features a cafe, 12 self-contained artist studios, and a 200 seat auditorium.
The building is clad in iridescent, semi-polished porcelain tiles, which creates a reflective facade, giving the site a shell-like appearance. The tiles are cut into triangles, and the facade is geometrical and gathered at the top with hanging pleats. The tiles are highly weather-resistant and help to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building whilst also reducing the need for heating the structure.
The residential extension is constructed from pale bricks, and when viewed next to the pearl-coloured facade, ties the new construction in with the old. The rooftop is fashioned from fritted glass, creating reflections and shadows as lights cast down on visitors beneath it. The bricks within the building also take on this geometric shape and are vernacular with a subtle variation in window pattern.
To view more about the project, visit Jestico + Whiles's website.