The Broadway, Barking
Year: 2004 Budget: £3.7 million
Civic Trust Partnership Award 2006
An innovative partnership between the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham and Barking College has led to the creation of a new community arts centre located within a converted civic hall. The centre also includes accommodation for the Performing Arts department of Barking College, which consists of rehearsal and dance studios, a recording studio and workshops. The new scheme incorporates a flexible 328-seat performance space, formed by the insertion of new hanging balconies and a retractable bleacher seating system within the old auditorium. An extension, at the front of the building creates a new profile for the centre and provides a large double-height foyer space with a box office, lift, toilets, offices and a terrace overlooking the Barking Abbey grounds. Accommodation for Barking College is provided on the lower ground floor. The new arts and education complex represents the first stage of the regeneration strategy for Barking Town Centre and has featured in two exhibits at the New London Architecture Gallery.