Keith Williams Architects led the design team, which worked with Croydon Borough Council & The Fairfield Halls Trust to establish a new vision and a deliverable masterplan for the physical and cultural remodelling of the Fairfield Halls in Croydon.
Originally conceived during the post Festival of Britain era, the Fairfield, which was opened in 1962 by the Queen Mother, with Yehudi Menuhin as the headline act, was once a famous concert and arts venue becoming a major regional centre for classical music and jazz as well as rock and other acts.
Though now showing signs of wear, the 13,500m2 building contains a well-regarded 2000 seat concert hall, the Ashcroft Theatre (a narrow 750 seat fixed format end stage space), and the Arnhem Gallery (originally a community art gallery) now used as a 400 cover banqueting room.
The Fairfield retains much of its post-war period character, but it is in much need of major upgrade into a facility worthy of occupying a key position in the wider regeneration of Croydon for which there are wide reaching plans. Keith Williams’ proposals included detailed arts management analyses tied to a series of specific architectural and masterplan strategies which would reshape the venue and re-establish it as a key regional cultural destination.