Greyfriars Arts Centre is a new theatre and community hall in the grounds of the Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood, Hampshire.
The theatre includes a fly tower and back-stage facilities to ensure flexibility in performances, while the 280 seats in the main auditorium can retract allowing the space to be opened up as a hall for community and conference uses. In addition to the theatre the Centre includes 440m² of lettable community spaces and a public café.
A double height glazed internal street connects all functions and acts as a reception and display area. Community spaces open out onto a new pedestrian square in front of the retained library providing a quiet space for reading and performance activities.
The building is clad in the deep red brick common to Ringwood and designed to present a modern eye catching face to the centre while respecting the character of the town.
"Williams Lester Architects impressed from their first meeting with us. Their well thought out – ultimately contest winning – design is modern, but at the same time reflects the architectural style within Ringwood Town Centre. We are most grateful for their support and for their generosity in time, knowledge and experience. Their enthusiasm and determination for this project matched our own, and is a testament to the successful planning outcome. We are looking forward to working together on the next phase of the development."