Camden Council has given the go ahead for a new grassroots music venue and the preservation of significant historic buildings in Denmark Place and Denmark Street.
Designed by Orms, and in close consultation with Historic England, the GLA and Music Venues Trust, the approved scheme replaces the former 12 bar with a new 280 capacity grassroots music venue. This is in addition to the 800 capacity music venue already granted consent as part of the wider St Giles Circus scheme, further enhancing the quarter’s musical heritage. The conservation area will be preserved by the careful moving of the former Smithy located at 22 Denmark Place during the works and then reinstating it in exactly the same location once the new basement has been formed. The design will reinstate the original courtyard relationship between the rare seventeenth century house at 26 Denmark Street and the former Smithy at 22 Denmark Place. A new glass enclosure will provide shelter to the courtyard and vertical circulation to the basement venue.
John McRae, Director of Orms, commented: “We are delighted to have secured consent to provide an additional grassroots music venue as part of the St Giles Circus redevelopment. This added to the large venue we are already providing ensures a diverse range of uses can be accommodated in this important central London location.”
Consolidated Developments are the developers behind the 19,510sqm development, and have been part of the Soho community for several decades. Committed to preserving and enhancing the rich musical heritage of Tin Pan Alley, the recently updated scheme will bring the site next to the Crossrail station back into use, increasing the footfall for the number of retailers in the area and enriching the surrounding neighbourhood. Expected to complete by the end of 2018, St Giles has been designed by Orms to build on the area’s music links over the past 60 years by bringing back a major venue missing from the area since the closure of the Astoria, the creation of a new urban gallery space that provides flexible venues and innovative external exhibition spaces, as well as a mix of office, residential, hotel, cultural, entertainment, bar and restaurant use.
Laurence Kirschel at Consolidated Developments Ltd, said: “St Giles Circus is set to be an internationally recognised destination for commerce, culture, creativity and inspiration, set in the heart of London. Having achieved consent, the final piece of the jigsaw is complete and we are able to start delivering a diverse scheme that showcases leading international culture in an iconic setting known for its creativity and flair. This is an exciting time for London and we look forward to starting work on site imminently.”
Over the past decade it is estimated that half of the UK’s nightclubs have closed down. The Music Venues Taskforce, set up by the Mayor of London, recognises the need to invest in new talent by creating new venues such as St Giles and is working with Village Underground, 100 Club and the Live Performance Musicians’ Union to meet the demand for live music and provide high quality venues which can compete with international competition from emerging ‘music cities’ such as Austin, Nashville and Berlin.
Detailed planning permission was granted for the revised scheme in October 2015.