The original complex of Royal Holloway, part of the University of London, is a grand 19th Century red brick building dressed in stone by WH Crossland. The site also includes another building by Crossland, a boilerhouse, which was until 1968 used to provide the university’s heat and power.
The Royal Holloway drama department took over the building and decided to turn it into a centre for experimental theatre. Burrell Foley Fischer LLP won a competition to undertake the conversion. The brief was not to create any sort of auditorium – the space was to be left bare so that it could be filled with the imaginations of the theatre directors.
The interior of the boilerhouse was acoustically insulated, weatherproofed and given a new sprung floor, but otherwise the “found space” aesthetic is retained and not smartened up.