Stars of stage and screen came to Hammersmith for the topping out ceremony of a new £28 million drama campus.
The London Academy of Music and Drama Art (LAMDA) is building the 5,500 sq m development in the heart of Hammersmith and welcomed past graduates for the ceremony, which marks the reaching of the highest point of the development.
Among those present were Dame Janet Suzman, LAMDA president and acclaimed actor Timothy West, and Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter .
Once complete, the complex will comprise of a flexible 200-seat Simon Sainsbury Theatre, the 120-seat black box Carne Studio Theatre; a new Education Wing housing a fully-equipped, digital screen and audio suite, 10 large training and rehearsal studios, a library and studio centre and new backstage facilities.
The new campus is an extension of the existing LAMDA building in Talgarth Road and is being designed by Nìall McLaughlin Architects, with VolkerFitzpatrick as the main contractors. When built LAMDA says it will have facilities to match its international reputation.
Funding for the project has been helped by the support of its Act Now! Campaign – launched in November 2013 with alumnus Benedict Cumberbatch as patron. LAMDA is now focused on raising the remaining £3m to realise its vision.
The Sherlock star is looking forward to the new campus and said: “I am thrilled to see LAMDA preparing for the future with confidence and astuteness.”
And LAMDA principal Joanna Read said: “The United Kingdom leads the way in vocational arts training – and LAMDA is the trailblazer, an innovator that sets the standards others follow.
"Our new facilities will enrich the global industry and empower its students and practitioners to shape the future of art form.”
The new facilities will open to the public in spring 2017.