Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by editor, Mar 13, 2015.
I always thought Battersea Arts Centre would be a modernist building.
Ohhh it looked so beautiful
Stunning old building but also a lovely place- cafe staffed partly by NNT young adults, soft play, community events- it is a real local hub. Very sad
Exactly - this isn't just a theatre that put on some good shows, both the building and what went on inside are so much more than that.
First time I went in their kids room I experienced that odd mixture of excitement and jealousy
Only went there once for a Daniel Kitson gig but was struck by the beauty of the place esp the central hall and its ceiling.
It was originally Battersea Town Hall. A beautiful example of late-Victorian civic architecture, but once many of the municipal authorities were consolidated into boroughs, there was no use for it, except as an outlying location for a few borough functions. Once a multi-storey civic building was built about 150 yards away on the other side of the road in the '60s, the Town Hall was empty until the mid-'70s, when the local community lobbied to be able to use the rooms and halls for community projects.
Fantastic acoustics in the Central Hall, too. Schools in Borough of Wandsworth used to queue up (back in the days when schools paid more than lip-service to music education) to rent it for school concerts.
aarrrrrrgh, it's a great place, hope only the rear of the building is involved and that the important theatre spaces are OK.
this is where 'Jerry Springer the Opera' started, so a bastion of free speech.
Only just saw this. That looks absolutely horrific. Fire is such a nasty thing and destroys special old buildings so brutally.
I never made as much use of it as I should have done when I lived ten minutes walk away, but spent many a happy Saturday afternoon browsing the (long-gone) bookshop.
The bit that's been damaged is where we used to do Urban beer festival meets, I think.
Really sad - as an arts venue I suspect they would be struggling financially anyway and this must be disastrous.
In regards to finance, how much might insurance help? Obviously depends on their deal, and imagine it won't cover everything, but hoping it'll make the rebuilding process easier.
It will, or should - but I imagine that there will be a hefty excess.
Incredibly sad. Though I have to say my main memory is of failing an exam there spectacularly. I wonder if there will be a govt commitment to help fund a rebuild, as happened with the Glasgow School of Art?
it's been fighting for its existence for a while. luxury flats.
Here's hoping foreign investors instead develop a taste for performing arts, community cafes and soft play.
A rather convenient accident, then.
It's really tragic. Both the Grand Hall and all back offices have been destroyed. But there's still hope, and shows may still go ahead next week. It's a miracle that the front of the building is still in tact, but the Grand Hall was a beautiful space. You can help support the rebuilding of Battersea Arts Centre here. https://www.nationalfundingscheme.org/BAC012#.VQP5nRCsXpD
contribute to rebuilding: surely its insured?
Depends on coverage, but I suspect that the fundamentals are covered. What's probably going to be lost, of course, is a lot of the intricate detail, like plaster mouldings and the central hall's ceilings which (unless Fortune is smiling) won't have been covered.
The good thing is the BAC/Battersea Town Hall is quite well-documented, so recreating the tower and external stonework detail is eminently possible.
Perhaps, but given that the pressure spoken of dates back into the '90s, and has always been about conversion of the existing building into flats - premium prices can be charged for "apartments" in interesting period architecture, as Battersea locals know only too well - I'm not sure that torching helps anyone, even vultures property developers.
The old Town Hall was always about a third too big, in my own opinion, to be able to break even from businesses using it and other receipts, but had the advantage of feeling "welcoming" in a way that some public buildings don't.
My finger slipped and I can't delete the post. Anyways I totally agree
Statement from David Hubbard, artistic director at the BAC .
Mate who came with me to Fiction on Thursday is there now, said the front is relatively unscathed and they're actually opening in a bit
Shows will also continue, so sounds like they will at least continue to operate at some level.
What a horrible Friday 13th for them. Glad the theatres are still functioning. Really sad to see a building with such civic pride go up in smoke.
Today's statement from David Jubb
Far more than just a theatre
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