Fairfield Halls

Since its inception in 1962, Fairfield Halls has been a major venue for live music, plays, musicals, stand-up comedy and classical music, as well as community events. The concert hall within the Fairfield Halls has regularly been used for BBC television, radio and orchestral recordings, too. Recently, the venue was gifted a revamp of its entire audiovisual system, enlisting the help of brands including d&b audiotechnik, GDS and ETC.

In July 2016, the venue closed ahead of a £42.6m million redevelopment based on proposals by MICA Architects. Using a heritage-led approach, the architects sought to deliver a much-needed refurbishment, all while seeking to retain the buildings iconic features and ensuring a sustainable future.

The redevelopment has seen South London’s largest Arts Centre become a state-of-the-art venue for the community. Fairfield Halls includes the world-class Phoenix Concert Hall, Ashcroft Playhouse and Arnhem Foyer, along with new spaces; The Recreational, Savvy Studio, John Whitgift Community Cube and The Talawa Studio.

The Phoenix Concert Hall was designed as a scaled-down version of the Royal Festival Hall. The 1850-seat venue is recognised internationally for its fine acoustics and will play host to the London Mozart players as resident Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.

Now with an increased capacity of 800 seats, including improved accessible seating provision, the Ashcroft Playhouse will host plays, musicals and local events and performances from the community. The Arnhem Foyer – a reference to Croydon’s twin town in the Netherlands – is an open-plan space which hosts free events throughout the year.

The new spaces at Fairfield Halls include The Recreational, a 770-capacity gig venue and the John Whitgift Community Cube, a glass-fronted space at the front of the arts centre, which will be home to various community events and activities.

Vinci loved our approach to the design development, drawing packs and project management, along with the support we provided from start to finish. This coupled with our ability to work with the end user, venue owner/operator and consultant to manage requirements effectively and collaboratively.

Also, the Talawa Theatre Company has taken up residence in Fairfield Halls, giving the UK’s primary Black theatre company a 200-seat studio and offices. This is the first time since 1995 that Talawa’s headquarters have featured an on-site performance space. Talawa Studio operates as a central hub for Black artists, enabling Talawa to develop a community outreach programme, and create, develop and premiere new work.

The SAVVY Studio is designed for up to 80 seated guests, with accessibility at the heart of the area. SAVVY Theatre, an award-winning company, creating ambitious, inclusive productions and theatre experiences that bring different groups of people together, will call the studio home.

With the perfect hub for arts, culture and creativity in place, the technology had to match – and it was Sound Space Vision (SSV) who the venue turned to when it came to the refurbishment.