LAMDA, one of the UK’s most famous drama schools, has today [20 January 2016] celebrated a major milestone in the ongoing work to transform its West London home into a world leading centre for drama training.
British acting stalwarts, Timothy West and Dame Janet Suzman, along with well-known LAMDA alumni, Paterson Joseph (Babylon, Peep Show) and David Moorst (2015 recipient of the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Emerging Talent) were joined by MP for Hammersmith, Andy Slaughter, and LAMDA supporters to mark the topping out of this state of the art facility which brings LAMDA a step closer to having the facilities to match its international reputation.
The building, designed by award winning Nìall McLaughlin Architects is being constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick and will, once complete provide 5,500m2 of teaching, performance and production space.
The £28m redevelopment includes the creation of a signature fly tower that will create a cultural landmark for the local area as well as 10 large training and rehearsal studios, two performance theatres and new backstage and education facilities.
LAMDA has reached this point in its £28 million redevelopment project thanks to the generous supporters of its Act Now! Campaign – launched in November 2013 with alumnus Benedict Cumberbatch as Patron and former Cabinet Minister, Rt Hon. Shaun Woodward as Chair. With over 90% of the capital costs of the redevelopment secured, LAMDA is focused on raising the remaining £3million to realise its vision.
David Sershall, VolkerFitzpatrick Managing Director - Building, said: “This is an exciting and ambitious project not just in terms of its scale and what it delivers for LAMDA, but also in terms of the challenges the site presents. VolkerFitzpatrick has the experience and expertise to meet these challenges head-on and help LAMDA to create the world’s leading centre for drama
Nìall McLaughlin, Founder of Nìall McLaughlin Architects added: “LAMDA’s geographical position presents considerable problems for a teaching environment, including traffic noise, railway noise and pollution. At the same time, it is an extraordinarily high profile location with great visibility. The practice has designed a building that relishes the gritty urban qualities of its location and provides robust, calm spaces for learning.”
Speaking about the topping out ceremony, LAMDA’s Act Now! Patron Benedict Cumberbatch CBE said: “I am thrilled to see LAMDA preparing for the future with confidence and astuteness. I am also enough of a realist to appreciate that, should we fail to seize this opportunity, London will lose a vital artistic resource that nourishes the global performing arts industry, contributes to our economy and enriches our cultural life.”
LAMDA Chairman Luke Rittner added: “As the Chairman of LAMDA I am delighted to see us reach this important milestone. These new facilities will enhance our position as the world’s leading centre for drama training and we are profoundly grateful to each and every one of our staff, students, graduates, friends, donors and supporters who have all helped to bring us to this exciting moment.”
Due to be complete in autumn 2016, the redevelopment will fully complement the extension of LAMDA’s existing Victorian building and embrace the contemporary, whilst treasuring the traditional and create a transition between the Barons Court Conservation area and the modern, urban landscape of Hammersmith.