A new public entrance from Regent Road
A reconfigured entrance from Regent Road and spectacular new foyer beneath the assembly hall are at the heart of the Trust's application. This ensures that the assembly hall and its two flanking rooms can act independently as fully serviced performance spaces, even when the school is in operation.
The new circulation scheme will provide access to the southern terraces of the building, revealing superb views of the City to visitors.
Virtually no change will be visible from outside the site.
A new foyer and restored Assembly Hall
The new foyer will serve as a grand, but highly contemporary adjunct to the restored main performance space. Ticketing, a bar, cloakrooms and green rooms are all catered for. When not in use by the public it can also serve as a multi-function space for the school, avoiding the need to constantly re-configure the main assembly hall.
Stairways or lifts on either side of the foyer rise beneath original cupolas to the fully restored assembly hall, with the southern doorway and the elegant curving stairs to the balcony re-established. The performance space will be highly flexible, utilising hydraulic lifts to achieve a range of configurations.
Hamilton's original flanking stairs will return audience members to the foyer terrace.
Near invisible from outside
Protecting the integrity and setting of Hamilton's masterpiece was one of the Trust’s key goals. Despite the hugely significant changes to the internal circulation of the building and the addition of the new school structures, the visual impact from outside the boundary of the site will be minimal.
Indeed, the replacement of the Victorian gym with a substantially lower new building will reveal Hamilton's long hidden belvedere, and his great retaining wall to the north.
The proposed new garden on the western playground will create a far better setting for the building than the current car park, and will be made available for public events during school holidays.