This week Woolwich Works officially opened its doors to the public, delivering the Royal Borough of Greenwich's new arts, culture and performance venue. Delivering four times the space of the Royal Albert Hall, the project is homed in a series of listed buildings that lie at the core of the Royal Arsenal.
The scheme turns the former munitions manufacturing buildings into expansive performance venues that celebrate the original form of the buildings, as much as the performances that are taking place. The Theatre's Trust have launched their Green Book for delivering sustainable performances, and are looking at how buildings play a part in this. Finding new ways of housing productions in existing buildings is a core way of achieving this, and Woolwich Works is an example of how with a clear vision and problem-solving team, this can be achieved.
Montagu Evans provided planning and heritage support in the delivery of this project, securing the permissions and delivery for this project. To work through the challenges of introducing such an expansive creative district into a residential area and adapting listed buildings, the solutions required close teamwork and clear messaging of the heritage and community benefits.
Woolwich Works and its repurposing approach brings these historical buildings back into a use that every member of society can enjoy. With a strong focus on celebrating local talent as much as mainstream performances, the ethos of the Woolwich Works truly echoes the Royal Arsenal Cooperative Society's historical motto of "each for all and all for each".
"Woolwich Works — this is a spectacular new space to keep the arts safe"