Designed by architects Panter Hudspith and featuring interiors by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio; Picturehouse Central has been re-cast for a 21st Century audience, with an art-house aesthetic that respects the illustrious history of this London landmark. Built in 1896, the Grade II listed Trocadero structure has been redeveloped several times with a cinema complex constructed in the 1990s.
A new and dedicated feature entrance skirts the west of the building, re-establishing the building as a distinct part of Shaftesbury Avenue’s bustling street scape. Carousel ‘cinema style’ bulbs and vintage signage in the venue’s entrance marquee bring an added sense of theatre to the approach. Internally is an impressive double-height foyer where a mural by artists Patrick Vale and Paul Davis adorns the walls depicting the history of cinema. Adjoining the concourse sits the vibrant retro café.
The café is lit by red pendants and natural daylight filters through new openings cut into the roof of the structure, to light each of the levels from above. A grand oak staircase, with red ceramic tile treads injects further glamour into the foyer leading up to a first floor bar, restaurant and lobby area with vintage-style ticketing and confectionary kiosks.
Complete with monochrome tiled flooring and across the room an eclectic array of mid-century furniture in a plethora of playful primary colours provide informal seating areas in the central bar area. Pattern, colour and texture feature prominently in the aesthetic feel of the space, with kitsch wallpaper, vintage furniture and fluted timber surrounding the copper-topped bar.
The bar’s industrial style, with exposed brick walls and painted steel girders, juxtapose against the original Nineteenth Century architecture, where restored original bay windows offer framed views of Piccadilly, unseen for decades.
A new and exclusive Members’ Bar exudes a distinctly art-house feel. Spanning three of the upper floors, the space provides a relaxing and comfortable environment, with inmate seating areas enjoying expansive views over Haymarket from the refurbished original ‘lantern’ structures of the building.
The Members’ Bar also boasts the addition of a spectacular new roof terrace with panoramic vistas across London, to the Houses of Parliament and Piccadilly Circus below.
Picturehouse Central at the former Trocadero builds on our experience in bringing historic buildings back into sustainable use… These contemporary facilities will allow the historic spaces to function in a sustainable way, and for architecture to form the heart of this art house cinema – setting it apart from the normal cinema experience.
Mark Panter, Partner at Panter Hudspith Architects
The way we experience the cinema has always been evolving as our tastes become more sophisticated. If you look back to the time the Trocadero was last developed in the 1990’s, cinema was about blockbusters, popcorn and fizzy drinks. Now it’s about a more holistic social experience and creating an environment for people to enjoy before and after the film. Our experience designing restaurants and members clubs has translated perfectly for Picturehouse Central and will ensure cinema becomes an event once again.
Martin Brudnizki, founder of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio
Bright floor tiles in an intricate geometric pattern, timber top tables, eclectic loose furniture and ambient lighting add to the drama of this impressive setting.
Images © Panter Hudspith Architects/ MBDS