Walters & Cogen Architects, an award-winning London-based practice with an innovative and contemporary portfolio, has been working on the new Wetherby Arts School, in collaboration with Alpha Plus Group.
Part of a £1.3 billion redevelopment of Olympia, the new 60,000-square-foot performing arts school will open in partnership with the BRIT School as soon as 2025. Walters & Cohen has developed the concept, look, and feel of the Wetherby Arts School, working alongside the developer’s architects, SPPARC and the contractors architects HLM Architects.
“We are delighted to be working with Alpha Plus on their very exciting vision for a new Arts School in the new Olympia Development. We have enjoyed the challenge of designing a multi-level state of the art, urban school that will bring the community into the school through use of the theatre and also allow the school to use facilities in the new development when desired,” commented Michál Cohen, Founding Director, Walters & Cohen Architects.
The building was originally a multi-storey car park, with a listed façade. The goal was to keep the charm of the original building, while getting the right amount of light into the deepest parts of the plan. A new atrium will cut through the middle of the school, linking all levels, while a three-floor extension on the roof provides a dining hall that opens onto an outdoor terrace.
Taking over the school for children aged 11 to 18 is Alpha Plus Group in partnership with the BRIT School, which will provide community classes after school hours on weekends and holidays. They will also provide funding for some children to attend the BRIT Kids classes free of charge. Wetherby Arts School will specialise in drama, dance and music, including a theatre run by the BRIT School.
“We are delighted to be expanding our portfolio into this vibrant West London quarter of transformational and exciting placemaking. It has been a privilege for our team to be working with Future Olympia (our landlord) and the verve and skill of W&C once again,” added Richard Jones, Director of Property, Alpha Plus Group.
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