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HACKNEY PICTUREHOUSE, LONDON
Friday 06 Jan 2012
The brief was to transform the existing Ocean Music venue into the Hackney Picturehouse, with minimum intervention and maximum effect, to provide a venue comprising four cinema screens varying in size from 56 to 293 seats, a café area which opens onto Mare Street and the Town Hall square, two bars, a live music venue and an art gallery.
This major investment in the heart of Hackney is a timely addition, against the backdrop of the recent riots in August, and a vote of confidence in the borough. It provides space for a rich mix of arts related and community activities such as film screenings, music events, performances, art festivals, educational courses and other activities, extending the hours of usage from breakfast to late at night. Newly created lettable offices will provide affordable spaces for local start-up companies.
The main objective for the design was to reuse and rethink as many of the spaces and materials as possible. This included removing side balconies and concrete slabs to create large screens in Screens 1 and 2, while Screens 3 and 4 were inserted into existing studio spaces. Acoustic panels in the cinemas and bar areas have been refurbished throughout and elements of the old bars have been recovered and reused. Frosted glazed panels that were previously used as projection screens in front of the bar windows have been relocated to the art gallery space to act as a back-lit light box wall.
The four screens created provide unique high quality cinema spaces with steep rakes for ideal sight lines and optimum screen sizes while creating seats for up to 570 visitors. By using a fresh and simplified colour and material palette a new identity was created, while the idea of supergraphics has been carried through from the large scale PICTURE HOUSE letters playfully announcing the venue along Mare Street to large scale wayfinding signage within the building.
The project was completed on 28th October 2011.