11 October 2018

MICA performing well at the Fairfield Halls

MICA Architects are making good progress on site with their project to completely refurbish and extend the Fairfield Halls in Croydon. This locally listed structure, opened in 1962, is often referred to as the sister building of the Royal Festival Hall. It hosts three existing venues including the Ashcroft Theatre and the renowned Concert Hall which is believed to have the finest acoustic for classical music of any venue in Britain.


The new steel frame for the re-built Arnhem Gallery venue is now complete, providing an additional floor with new multi-function rehearsal and performance space, new roof terrace and improved connections to the existing building. Piling and drainage diversion works are complete and groundworks are on-going for the new north extension ‘Cloister’ Café Bar and rehearsal studio which will face onto the remodelled College Green. An improved loading dock and ramp which also provides access to the new basement Energy Centre serving the Halls and adjacent residential development of over 200 new homes, also being carried out by MICA on behalf of Brick by Brick is nearing completion.

Refurb and Restoration

Internally, an extensive strip-out and asbestos removal programme has now been completed, including the removal of all existing plant, ventilation ductwork, heating and electrical services from the building. This has involved removing all existing ceilings and opening up the existing risers and void spaces within the building to allow the installation of completely new Mechanical, Electrical, Performance lighting and AV services throughout the building. The new scheme will provide cooling to the Concert Hall and new Arnhem venues as well as new fire alarm, smoke detection and life safety services. In addition, a new passenger lift is being inserted into the existing building connecting the new kitchens to levels 01 – 03 and allowing greater flexibility and commercial viability for the operator. As part of the refurbishment works, the Ashcroft, Concert Hall and Sun Lounge have now been fully scaffolded to allow access to all levels of these particularly large and multi-level spaces. Installation of the new M & E services has now commenced on site.

Façade Works

Externally, refurbishment works are now commencing to the West elevation of the Halls. Surveys commissioned following the closure of the Halls revealed that the existing precast cladding to the north and south elevations of the Concert Hall and Ashcroft Theatre had failed and was beyond repair. This cladding has now been removed and will be replaced with an innovative light weight natural stone render system which will replicate the appearance and acoustic performance of the original cladding while improving the thermal performance and weather-tightness of the building.

MICA are working closely with BH Live, the preferred operator for the Fairfield Halls, to ensure that this historic and highly regarded venue is once again a centre for the finest performances of both classical and contemporary music, drama, comedy and community events.

Next Steps

Following completion of the structural frame, floor and roof slabs to the new Arnhem Gallery, a new stone façade will be installed to match the original appearance of the building and provide improved thermal performance. The additional story of accommodation to the new Multi-Function Space will project above the reinstated original parapet height and will be clad in a bespoke back-lit glazing system which will be illuminated in the evenings to provide a new beacon, attracting visitors to the revamped Halls and expressing the energy and excitement of the new performances available inside.

To read more about Fairfield Halls, click here

Progress on site - Arnhem Gallery Steel frame complete and West Elevation facade restoration ongoing
October_Arnhem Gallery extension steel frame complete
September_Arnhem Gallery extension steel frame complete
August_Arnhem Gallery extension steel frame under construction
June_Arnhem Gallery site cleared to receive new steel frame extension
August_Loading dock improvements
March_Underground works for new cloister extension
March_Underground works for new cloister extension
June_Interior strip out complete
June_Interior strip out complete
June_West Elevation facade repairs underway
June_West Elevation facade repairs underway
1 / 12 Progress on site - Arnhem Gallery Steel frame complete and West Elevation facade restoration ongoing

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