We’re working on creative and playful ways to share what’s going on behind the hoardings ringing the building site around Battersea Arts Centre. Until then, I thought I would share some photos illustrating what’s been going on during October.
Since our contractors arrived on site, scaffolding has bloomed around the Grand Hall end of our home, stretching to the heights of the roof turret (the Victorian method of air conditioning).
At the rear of the building, the old entrance has been restored, after its relocation several metres to the east in the 1960’s. In the image below, the old entrance has been boarded over, and you can now enter through the grander double doors and walk across original vitreous glass mosaic into the Lower Hall.
Visitors to this end of the old Battersea Town Hall will remember a slightly cramped and contorted entrance foyer, but with the unoriginal walls removed we are starting to see a much larger, airier space appearing.
In the old WCs, hardworking folk are uncovering the beautiful original glazed wall tiles and an unexpected mosaic floor, meaning that we will have this stunning 19th century feature, rather than the planned black floor tiles.
In expanding the office space into the unused kitchen, finally we can see the space between the floors, and in the image below, this gap leads into a vault below the floor hatch in the Grand Hall. Used by Punchdrunk during Masque of the Red Death in 2006/07 for a thrilling piece of theatrical magic, its original purpose was to allow chairs from the Hall above to be dropped down a chute and stored.
The Lower Hall received a great deal of TLC in 2013 when we restored its walls and flooring, fitting large mirrors to the walls for theatre and dance rehearsals. To the left and right of the image below, you can see where original doorways have been opened again, some of which have been covered over for decades. These openings will allow for greater freedom of flow and movement around the ancillary spaces.
Importantly, our construction partners in this venture, Gilbert Ash, have taken a strong lead in ensuring waste is collected and recycled, in line with our Environmental Policy.
Check back here regularly for updates and images of the project.
We have a number of key fundraising moments during the project, one of which is to raise £200,000 by Christmas in order to start the next phase in January. In just the last few weeks individual giving has contributed nearly £7,000 to this.