In 2019, the renowned south London theatre, Ovalhouse, started planning their move from Oval to a new space in the heart of Brixton. The move was part of an exciting community partnership that saw new homes, community and health facilities, social enterprises as well as a new fully accessible modern theatre.
While Ovalhouse was without a space, they invited us to support 20 ten-year-olds from local schools in Brixton to design and build their own pop-up outdoor performance space on Somerleyton Road, next door to the new building which eventually opened in 2021.
Beset by delays due to the pandemic, the project was finally able to go ahead in 2023. A new cohort of 26 young people from the same schools were reintroduced to the project, adding their own spin to the final design before the BUILD which took place in March.
Over the course of the week, the group joined us for our biggest BUILD since 2019, using tools such as handsaws, staple guns and drills to assemble the frames that make up the final structure. They also had an opportunity to work on a performance so that they could be the first to use the space for what it was designed for.
The three structures will be on display and available for young people in Brixton to use for the month of April.
With great thanks to Let’s Build which made this project a reality, funded by Co-op Foundation and Mayor of London. Thanks also to our generous supporters and sponsors made this project possible.
We are grateful to have been funded by Coop Foundation.
Mayor of London
Buro Happold are our inaugural Engineering Industry Champions. They have been pivotal through every stage of the Let’s Build development and we are so grateful for their constant energy in finding innovative solutions to complex problems.
The Happold Foundation
Jestico + Whiles
Jestico + Whiles are our inaugural Architecture Industry Champions. Their team provided invaluable industry expertise and were integral in both the design workshops and during the build.
Builder Depot: West Hampstead
In-kind material support
The team at the West Hampstead branch of Builder Depot kindly gave us a discount on plywood and timber for the final structure that was built in 2023.