Higham Hill Theatre

vPPR Architects, London, 2019



Lewis Ronald     Download Original

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A small community amphitheatre in Higham Hill Park in Walthamstow

The project is a small community amphitheatre in Higham Hill Park in Walthamstow, part of Waltham Forest‘s Making Places initiative to deliver public realm improvement works to every ward in the borough.

The design consists of a row of simple linear benches, facing a stage. A circular opening sits between the benches and the stage, doubling as a second stage. This circular space playfully disrupts the rectilinear geometry of the theatre, and introduces flexibility for both end stage and in the round configurations, as well as everyday play and formal performances. The theatre is extremely compact– measuring 12m long by 6.5m wide, and only 400mm high – using minimal material to deliver maximum social value, accommodating approximately 75 people for sit down performances. Constructed with pigmented concrete, its earthy-tone references the colour of the soil and strengthens its relationship to the surrounding park. The theatre benefits from the natural scenery of the park, enclosed with hedges at low level and a crown of trees above, with horizontal views beyond.

Importantly, the works extend beyond the theatre itself: significant new connections are made to the adjacent café, by introducing new double glass doors to a brick wall and providing new external seating; to a playground by creating a gate where there was a fence before; and by introducing new landscaping including plants, hedges, paving and grass around the theatre itself, promoting biodiversity. By visually, physically and programmatically connecting the surrounding amenities to the theatre, the space becomes a piece of social infrastructure, activating this neglected corner of the park.


  • Begun: Dec 2018
  • Completed: Jul 2019
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £40,000
  • Funding: Making Places and Private Sponsorship
  • Tender date: Jul 2018
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Higham Hill Park, London, E17 5PX, United Kingdom

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