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    Picture: Bennetts Associates

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Designers refocus from marching to dancing

Jez Abbott
25 Mar 2019

Several military buildings will do an about-turn on function

Bennetts Associates has won over planners to turn military buildings into dance halls.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Woolwich Creative District recently received planning approval for the first two phases of work in south-east London.

The ambitious redevelopment includes the transformation of five listed buildings within the Royal Arsenal into over 15,000 square metres of performance and creative arts spaces.  

Phase one will protect, retain and enhance the heritage features of the Cartridge Factory, Royal Laboratory Offices and Gun Carriage Shop. 

Phase two will comprise the permanent works to a grade II* listed building that will be turned into a dance school with studios in the largest rooms.

Another building will serve as a space for orchestral rehearsals and public performances, with an audience capacity of around 1,100 seats.

A new foyer will be added to the main hall, facing a paved courtyard. Other spaces within the building will include dance studios, a gallery, cafe and artists’ studios.

Rob Bearyman, associate director at Bennetts Associates, said: “We are delighted to have achieved unanimous approval for Woolwich Creative District.

“The opportunity to adapt these magnificent military buildings to create a new cultural destination is an incredibly exciting one.

“The size and ambition of the scheme are socially and economically important for the immediate locality and significant for London and beyond.”

Building work is due to start later this year and Bennetts Associates was appointed by Royal Borough of Greenwich in August 2017.

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