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Home    


Society    


Performance    


Learning    

SPID THEATRE COMPANY

AT KENSAL HOUSE

London, 2015+

Kensal House is a 1930’s Modernist landmark, designed by architect Maxwell Fry with social reformer Elizabeth Denby. Fry and Denbys’ intention in building Kensal House was to create homes with shared communal spaces at the core. The Community Rooms were intended for recreation, workshops, entertainment, hobbies; spaces designated for residents to be together, to learn from, support and enjoy each other.


Now Grade II* listed the building is in need of attention and restoration, particularly to these shared spaces, neglected until the recent past.


For the past decade, the SPID Theatre Company have been using the Community Rooms as their base, from which they plan and develop new site-specific work, which focusses on life in the surrounding social housing estates.


Our approach to the re-development of their space is threefold:-

1) Analyse how the spaces could better serve SPID and the community.

2) Research the history of the building and its designers to ascertain how to reinstate the dignity and purpose of the original design.

  1. 3)Understand the current problems with the building, including services and structure.

This approach has led to a proposal to repair, extend and refurbish the building, ensuring its viability as a community hub in the C21st.

View of the Hall - looking towards the former serving hatch

Photograph by Morley Von Sternberg, 2018

Left; Above: Monumental portal frame and unoriginal glazing detail,

Photographs by Morley Von Sternberg



View of the Hall – looking towards the serving hatch

Images from the publication 'Kensal House: a contribution to the new London (RIBA library), p.20'

Sketch massing model

Club Room looking North West

Images from the publication 'Kensal House: a contribution to the new London (RIBA library), p.18'

Below: External Elevation, Photograph by Morley Von Sternberg

Below: Existing and proposed plans