Central School of Speech and Drama
London NW3


Jef Smith was the lead architect during his time at Jestico + Whiles on this project for the Central School of Speech and Drama in the Swiss Cottage area of north London.

The design approach was to develop a simple elemental expression of the programme (a variety of rehearsal and performance spaces for very specific activity based teaching) articulated in response to the context, creating a site-specific building. Small and medium teaching spaces are grouped and stacked together separately from large performance spaces. They are contained in two distinctly coloured rendered boxes: large spaces orientated towards Eton Avenue to the south, small and medium aligned to the adjacent road, with circulation and ancillary spaces filling the irregular residual areas. The centrally-located main staircase and lift negotiate the varying difference in levels between the double height teaching and performance spaces, mezzanines, and adjoining building.



Central School of Speech & Drama


September 2005