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MacEwen longlist: Wilton's Music Hall

Isabelle Priest

Unforgettable and charismatic – the last mid-Victorian music hall standing

Tim Ronalds Architects for Wilton's Music Hall Trust 

Location: Graces Alley, London

Wilton’s Music Hall is unique. It is the only mid-Victorian Music Hall that survives, anywhere. For everyone who has been there the atmosphere of the hall hidden behind dilapidated houses is unforgettable.

By 2006 the hall and row of terrace houses were extremely fragile and in a state of considerable disrepair. Tim Ronalds Architects was appointed to undertake a feasibility study and in September 2015, after a two-phase £3M building project, the building is now safe, sound and usable. The strategy was to ‘do no more than essential’: the heritage of Wilton’s is unique and the atmosphere special and well loved. The design team worked closely with Frances Mayhew, Wilton’s charismatic director, to design the interventions in a way that ensured they did not compromise the building's inherent character.

Wilton's has a generosity of spirit where a wide range of activities are supported, from new work in the creative arts through to school workshops and family weekends with the local community. The building project has ensured the continuity and extension of that programme by making the building safer and by bringing previously inaccessible areas into use.

The project has preserved Wilton’s as ‘London's hidden gem’ and the building’s charm and appeal will hopefully continue to attract a wide variety of visitors.


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