Hoxton Hall is a Grade II* listed Victorian Music Hall in the heart of East London. It excels in fostering community partnerships, furthering creative practice and providing youth arts programmes and has been pioneering arts activity in Hoxton since 1863. Seen as not just a theatre but as a magnificent music and events venue, rehearsal and recording space, Hoxton Hall is one of only a few Youth Arts Centres in East London.
Hoxton Hall is also, one of only five surviving example of a salon-style music hall in the country. It is now entering into its 150th year of serving the local community.
Restoration work has recently been undertaken at the Hall, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to upgrade the performance space and improve accessibility throughout the building.
Edmund Wilson, Partner at Foster Wilson Architects, said:
“It has been a comprehensive restoration project involving new seating, lighting, ventilation, and structural work. A lot of the project drive has been focussed on returning the hall to full use. We have had to be very careful to make sure that we didn’t do anything that would damage the fabric of the music hall.”
Some of the highlights of the project include the installation of new sun-burners in the hall ceiling, new lay lights in the roof and work to ensure that the balconies are able to be used again.
Edmund said: “One of the most interesting aspects of the project has been the installation of new sun-burners in the hall, which provide lighting and a cover for the new ventilation system. The original sun-burners would have been lit by gas lights, but we have replaced this light source with LED bulbs. There are also new lay lights with coloured glass fitted in their original location, which put daylight back into the hall. The balconies have been made available for seating once again, and much of the original structure has been repaired.”
Edmund has also praised the work of those on the project and their dedication to seeing that the restoration was completed to the highest of standards.
He added: “The whole build and design team fell in love with Hoxton Hall, so the contractors really went the extra mile to complete work properly and I think this is because they believed in the project and its benefits for the local community.”
The project began in 2014 with the refurbishment finishing in 2015, allowing the hall to be open for the 2016 season. Following the completion of the restoration, the project has been short listed for RICS awards in the Building Conservation and Leisure and Tourism categories.
Speaking about the nomination, Edmund commented:
“It is great publicity for the hall, which is now making its name as a venue. The buzz of being shortlisted for this award is helping getting the Hoxton Hall noticed by the wider public.”