The Lyric Hammersmith has had a new £13.5 million extension designed by Rick Mather Architects. The refurbishment mixes the old and the new, and was based on an understanding of the existing 1970s concrete structure. It is the first fully integrated producing and teaching and theatre, which will offer formal training and activities for up to 10,000 young people each year.
The space comprises four highly technical yet flexible spaces for theatre, film and dance. Smaller facilities include a recording suite with separate studios for music, radio, TV and film editing; music practise rooms; a digital play space; a sensory space; workshop; wardrobe; meeting and seminar rooms, and staff offices. These spaces are all arranged around a dramatic triple height foyer.
A key aspect of the refurbishment was sustainability. New features included replacement windows, new roofing and cladding, new solar panels, new internal finishes and catering facilities, making it London’s most environmentally friendly theatre.
Outside the exterior features an 8m glass wall with an expressive, rhythmically placed aluminium brise-soleil which cantilevers above new glass shop fronts at street level. From the street, passers-by can catch glimpses of light, colour and movement through the angled, bespoke blades of the brise-soleil, giving the building a dynamic and bold expression.