Brixton House Theatre and Workspace, Somerleyton Road

Brixton House is the new location for Ovalhouse, one of the most important centres for pioneer fringe theatre groups, previously located in Kennington. The Grand Opening was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

  • Client

    London Borough of Lambeth            

  • Contractor

  • Value


  • Completion Date

    March 2022

Galliford Try has recently completed the construction of Brixton House – a modern, purpose-built arts and community destination in South London. Part of the Somerleyton Road Development Project in partnership with the London Borough of Lambeth, the new building houses two fully accessible theatres (120 and 200 seating capacity), seven flexible rehearsal rooms and a creative hub with large public café, while the neighbouring Victorian Carlton building, Carlton Mansions, has been refurbished to create two floors of creative workspace.

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The Challenge

Surrounded by busy residential streets and a railway line, all while sitting atop London Underground tunnels, it’s no surprise this project required extensive collaboration, negotiation of intricate party-wall and land ownership issues and complex construction logistics. In addition, much of the project coincided with the Covid19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, requiring active management of resource and material difficulties.

A scaffold was needed to repair the existing Victorian façade at Carlton Mansions – the challenge was it needed to be erected just one metre away from the railway line. One of south London’s busiest passenger lines and a primary freight line, it is in constant use throughout the day and night.

The Solution

Following extensive engagement with Network Rail and our scaffold supply chain partner, Trad Scaffold, we had a daily 45-minute window to erect, and eventually dismantle, the scaffolding.

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The Results

Scaffolding was installed and dismantled within programme and highest safety standards.

‘H&S procedures were well followed, and good behaviours were demonstrated by the site team and the operatives. The response to Covid was excellent.’

Bruce McRobie, London Borough of Lambeth

In addition, whilst resolving a key buildability challenge we presented the opportunity for London Borough of Lambeth to generate increased revenue across the lifetime of the project. Requiring construction over a London Underground tunnel, we developed a displacement foundation solution as an alternative to a piled solution. We then proposed utilising the void created for lettable space as recording studios.

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SME Spend


Added Value


Client Satisfaction

Client Testimonials

“Actively collaborated and formed a one-team ethic with the client team. Open-book approach consistently and enthusiastically applied across all disciplines.”

“The Brixton House team wish to pass on our sincere gratitude for assisting us in our last performance at the old building. Bringing a poignant end to over 55 years of theatre at Kennington Oval. Whilst the occasion was emotional for all involved, the support your staff gave, and continue to give is providing our team and our stakeholders with hope and enthusiasm for the future, where it is much needed. Furthermore, adapting our new home at this late stage to cope with COVID19 is a real credit to your dedicated team. A sincere thank you.”

“The support your staff gave and continue to give is providing our team and our stakeholders with hope and enthusiasm for the future. Furthermore, adapting our new home at this late stage to cope with COVD-19 is a real credit to your dedicated team. A sincere thank you.”

Contractor Performance | Commitments


The project achieved zero RIDDOR, had an average CCS score of 42 and was able to continue to operate safely during Covid with no major outbreaks. During the construction phase, numerous safety stand downs were carried out, two in particular during Covid when social distancing was in place and with circa 140 operatives on site was no mean feat. During these stand downs, the site team utilised the basement area of the site, setup individual stalls manned by a different member of the team, and we had groups of six operatives work their way down each stall to discuss various Health and Safety topics including lifting operations, dust control, work at height and also mental health.


Restoration of mural of local importance: Painted on the side of Carlton Mansions, the Nuclear Dawn mural was given a new lease of life. Created in the 1980s when Britain was in the clutches of the Cold War, it has been fully restored by local artist, Morganico, and muralists Paul Butler and Linda Jane James. Brian Barnes MBE, one of the original creators of the mural, has been a regular visitor throughout.

Local artwork: Rising up from the ground floor is a pink cantilevered staircase and greeting visitors and users of the theatre at each floor level is a mural from local artist Damilola Odusote. Known for his eclectic, intricate, illustrative work, Damilola was given free reign by London Borough of Lambeth.

Social value: Over 340 training weeks, 14 apprentices, 6 jobs created for local people and 85% employed local labour. We volunteered monthly from January 2017 until December 2021 at The Ace of Clubs in Clapham, offering support to vulnerable homeless people. This included preparing and serving lunch.


Payments were paid on time and this continued even when the site was closed during Covid. We helped pay some of our supply chain’s material order during Covid to ensure work continuity and agreed many final accounts ahead of project completion.


This project achieved BREEAM Very Good, EPC of A rating, and air permeability of 3m3/hr/m2. Other sustainable features include photovoltaics, sustainable drainage systems and both blue and green roofs.


Galliford Try Facilities Management will be on site for five years, aiding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our Project Director continued to stay on site 10 weeks post completion to make sure that everything was working as it should be and resolve defects promptly.

SCF Framework Manager

Alex Nelhams


Phone: 07717 003869

Contractor Framework Manager

Priya Parthi / Angela Purse

Email: /

Phone: 07484037015 / 07593 561 855