Keith Williams Architects have been appointed to shape a long term strategy for the redevelopment of the Fairfield Halls Concert Hall and Arts Venue in Croydon to the south of London.
Following OJEU procedures, Croydon Council and the board of Fairfield chose Keith Williams ahead of stiff competition from leading architectural practices including fellow finalists John McAslan and DSDHA.
The Fairfield Halls, comprise a 1,700 seat concert hall, the 750 seat Ashcroft Theatre community performance and meeting spaces and an art gallery. The building was designed in the 1950s with the inaugural concert taking place in November 1962 given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sergeant, the soloist being Yehudi Menhuin. It is one of the few extant examples of a major early post war concert hall and arts centre in the country and is reputed for its excellent acoustic.
The Council and the Board recently made the decision to find ways to bring Fairfield up to date. They are looking for changes that will enable all of its facilities to be put to more diverse uses, thus opening its doors to a larger proportion of Croydon’s population.
Steve Hollands, Croydon’s cabinet member for culture and sport stated: “We need to create a venue suitable for artists and audiences in the 21st century which will contribute to the cultural life of the borough. We want to restore the reputation of Fairfield Halls as one of the country’s leading performing arts venues”