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Arcola Theatre

Multi-award winning professional theatre with a strong community and sustainability ethos relocated to an emerging Hackney cultural quarter. Sustainability features include minimal intervention, large scale materials reuse and renewable energy technology.



24 Ashwin Street E8 3DL

Sat 10am-1pm. Half-hourly tours. Last entry 12.30pm. Max 12 per tour.

Dalston Kingsland

149, 242, 38, 277, 243

  • Access for wheelchair users
  • Green features
  • Refreshments available
  • Regularly open to the public at no charge
  • Toilets available

ARCOLA THEATRE Since its foundation in 2000, Arcola Theatre has built a reputation as one of the leading off-West End theatres in London, putting on high-quality drama while reaching out to the local community and striving to become the world_s first carbon neutral theatre. Since January 2011, Arcola has occupied three floors of _The Colourworks_ a former paint factory in the heart of Dalston. Arcola converted the building with a very limited timescale and funding. We committed to a minimal intervention approach, which made the building immediately useable but also kept the industrial feel of original solid steel structure and handsome brick walls. In 2012, we were fortunate to receive œ1million of capital funding from Arts Council England (in addition to their support of our artistic and creative learning programmes). We undertook the most urgently required works to improve the function, comfort and accessibility of the building. We replaced and double-glazed all the windows, restructured the layout of public areas and installed a wheelchair accessible lift. We worked with Oxford Renewables to install biomass energy as a mean to heat the building during the winter season. Sustainability was at the heart of our refurbishment program.In the reshaped Arcola we have a new caf‚-bar space, offices, two rehearsal rooms and two theatre spaces that can seat up to 300 audience members. The larger Studio 1 consists of a double-height space, with a narrow balcony emphasising the sense of proximity and connection between the performers and the audience. The smaller Studio 2 has been relocated to the basement and occupies a large room with exposed 19th century brickwork.The building also hosts the Arcola Energy Lab, a clean technology incubator. Arcola Energy develops and deploys a range of hydrogen powered products. Currently Arcola Energy arecurrently engaged with a project implementing DC microgrids throughout the building. The lab links with our Creative Learning programme through offering the latest technologies and inspiring teachers for local young people.