Burd Haward Architects

Burd Haward Architects
24 Wolsey Mews
London NW5 2DX

T: 020 7267 9815

Forge Arts Venue

"This is a careful response to the mess of Camden, bringing beauty, civility and culture to the place"

Architects Journal 


Forge Arts is a mixed-use development comprising a 120-seat recital hall, a café/bar, restaurant and three studio apartments situated on a compact urban site in Camden Town, London NW1.  The bespoke building was developed for musician and restauranteur clients.  It replaced a much-loved local café: early consultation with residents and planners meant the scheme went to planning with full support of both.


The building is arranged as a pair of sister elements.  The front building, clad in a dark brick, houses a café at ground floor, restaurant at first floor and apartments above.  The rear building, in a paler brick, houses the recital hall in a simple top-lit volume.  The two buildings are linked by a double-height glazed courtyard with a living wall at one end. This brings natural light, ventilation and greenery into the heart of the space and is key to the low-energy strategy.  Full height timber clad acoustic screens enable one wall of the recital hall to be opened into the central courtyard, allowing the hall to be combined with the café and restaurant to form a single large performance and events space.

Acoustics were central to the design, and the layout, volume and materials were developed in conjunction with Arup Acoustics, to ensure the building is robust, characterful and performs excellently acoustically.


Client:   Calyx Properties
Stages: RIBA  0 – 6

the forge 01
the forge 02
the forge 03
the forge 04
the forge 05
the forge 06
the forge 07
the forge 08
the forge 09
the forge 10
the forge 11
the forge 12


Arts & Heritage, Community & Education, Housing & Mixed Use


RIBA Award Winner -

Civic Trust Award Winner -

Brick Awards - Winner -


Architects' Journal, June 2010

Architects' Journal, July 2009

Building Design, April 2007