Architecture: WK Designs Dream Cinema Idea for Teddington
With Teddington’s rich history of cinema houses, could now be the time for one to make a comeback? Inspired by the idea, the talented team at Teddington architects, Architecture:WK, (AWK) have come up with a visionary design concept for a luxury boutique cinema in Teddington, which they are gifting to the community as a Social Initiative Project.
The proposed design, The Front Room Bar & Cinema, developed before lockdown for the former branch of HSBC on the High Street, is AWK’s vision for how the site could be redeveloped to enrich community life, by introducing a new type of social and cultural hub, bringing commercial and employment opportunities to the area.
“The site has been dormant for three years and after planning was refused last summer, we decided to use it for a Social Initiative Project to dream a vision for what it could become and the team believed a cinema would be perfect as it would enhance the offering on the High Street, help the local economy and serve the needs of the different age groups in the area.” Said AWK’s Director, Sam Kamleh.
Designed in the spirit of Esher’s Everyman and Notting Hill’s iconic Electric cinema, The Front Room Bar & Cinema, would have a flexible stage which could be extended for events or reduced for additional seating, plus a bar and restaurant/café on the ground floor with easy sofas and banquette seating.
“With increased internet use, future requirements are increasingly about ‘experiential architecture’ – places where we can interact socially. We were keen for the design to offer a relaxed and easy experience, so comfort and space have been key factors; the auditorium with luxury seating and the bar/restaurant furnished as a laid-back living room, making it a perfect meeting spot for a cosy coffee, lunchtime snack or night out. We believe this would be a much used and much-loved Front Room.”
Externally, The Front Room Bar & Cinema is cleverly designed to resonate with the existing architectural style of Teddington High Street and presents a contemporary interpretation of its Victorian and Edwardian heritage by using red stock bricks in echo with the adjacent buildings. As the design wraps around onto Cedar Road, it picks up on the architectural detailing of the residential street and offers a playful translation of the pitched roof geometries.
“We all need a vision for life after lockdown,” said Sam, “And we believe that a cinema in Teddington would be a wonderful addition; we’re extremely proud to be gifting this proposal to the community and hope that it generates positive discussion.”