Heritage-led approach removes unsympathetic additions, restores the original design intent and improves accessibility
MICA Architects for Brick by Brick/ London Borough of Croydon
Contract value: £42.6m
Cost per m2: £2,049
Given a brief to refurbish, remodel and extend the Fairfield Halls to improve the access, operation and financial viability of this 1962 performance venue and art gallery, MICA took a heritage-led approach to remove unsympathetic later additions, restore the original design intent and greatly improve accessibility. All new elements complement the existing building. The concert hall always had one of the finest acoustics for classical music of any venue in Europe. In its heyday the venue also played host to such greats as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie but age, lack of maintenance and poor-quality additions had combined to create a run-down and unwelcoming image. Now it is renewed and revitalised.