The Happold Foundation is proud to support architecture education organisation Matt+Fiona’s work on the Lets Build! project, which has seen 20 ten year olds working to create their own pop up performance space.
Last year, Ovalhouse, the renowned South London theatre, announced it was moving from Oval to a new space in the heart of Brixton. The move forms part of a larger regeneration project that will see new homes, community spaces, health facilities and social enterprises as well as the new theatre. While Ovalhouse is without a space, they need to develop a temporary theatre space to hold community performances and events.
With the support of 145 generous backers, including a pledge from the Mayor of London’s Crowdfund London campaign and a grant from the Co-Operative Foundation, as well as funding from the Happold Foundation, Ovalhouse reached their funding target and was able to commission the Let’s Build! project. Matt+Fiona was asked to work with a group of local year six school children to design and plan the pop-up performance space, which is planned to be located next door to the theatre’s new building.
The project involved several stages, including site visits to other performance spaces, interactive workshops and model building sessions. The model building workshops helped to bring together everything the children had learnt so far and trying out different design and layout ideas. The architects from Matt+Fiona then took all the ideas away and worked them into a buildable project, before presenting the scheme back to the children for their approval.
After a number of design sessions and lots of hard work, the team are now in the final stages of developing their project. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the children will need to wait a little while longer to see their design come to life in reality, but the designers have put together a virtual model of the theatre the children have designed to remind them of all of their hard work.
Fiona MacDonald from the charity said, “we are so proud to have had the opportunity to work with this inspirational group of children on the Lets Build! project. We are really excited to be able to start work on the build later in the year or early next year so the children can see all their plans become a reality. These projects cannot happen without the generous support of their funders. Huge thanks to the Happold Foundation, Burohappold Engineering and Jestico+Whiles, our Industry Champions”
Matt+Fiona offers unique, hands-on and creative educational programmes for young people, resulting in full scale builds, places and spaces.