crouch end picturehouse

Location: London
Client: Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd
Status: Completed 2015

Community-focused cinema and cafe
Crouch End Picturehouse is a conversion of an existing factory and 1950s office building into a five screen and 600 seat art house community cinema.

Reuse of modernist structure
The original building is one of the last remaining examples of 1950/60s modernism in Crouch End and the intent was to enhance its appearance, whilst retaining its unique character.

Retained frame and volumes
The existing concrete structure and massing remain in situ, housing the front of house and ancillary spaces. The former factory loading bay is now a fully-glazed foyer, café/bar and bike store.

A facade that activates day and night
A new, semi-translucent facade creates a ‘screen’ over the upper levels with varying degrees of transparency, letting natural daylight into the building and animating the facade by night.

A special stair for a stacked cinema complex
The site is extremely compact in a dense urban area and to make the scheme economically viable, the screens and bars are located on multiple levels. Cinema typology is typically single-storey so here customers are enticed on a vertical journey via a bespoke main staircase, which is one of the most important architectural features in the building.


Photography
Henrietta Williams

Publications
2016
RIBA Journal - Getting into Character
Architecture Today 264 - Moving Images
2015
BD Online Crouch End Picture House by Panter Hudspith
AJ Specification Magazine Tall storeys and a flight of fancy
FX Magazine - Client file: Picturehouse Cinemas
 
Awards
2016 AJ Retrofit Awards: Leisure - Winner
2016 Haringey Design Awards: Best Green Building - Winner
2016 NLA Awards: Ashden Prize for Sustainability - Commended
2016 Civic Trust Regional Finalist - London
2016 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards - Shortlisted
2016 Architect of the Year Award - Winner (Sports and Leisure)
 
illustrative site plans
circulation between the retained factory wall and the new insertion highlights reuse
illuminated facade detail provide shadows at night, reminiscent of early zeotropes
the former factory and office building prior to redevelopment
ground floor kiosk and cafe space exposing the original clay pot ceiling
new self supporting stair bridges junction between the existing and new building
plush screen interiors create a luxury feel
first floor bar with exposed servicing and reclaimed teak parquet flooring
junction of new structure & existing walls are expressed with playful colour