Co-owned by international superstar Robbie Williams, LMA provides a world-leading training environment for media, music and performing arts students. Offering a wide range of courses, LMA prides itself on the quality of its teaching professionals and high-end facilities.
Not an office, but a university centre dedicated to the performing arts and media production. A vibrant and exciting new campus for actors, producers, dancers, entertainers, singers, and musicians to learn their art and follow their passions.
The ambition was to bring everything that is unique and great about the institution in Liverpool and place it in the heart of East London. The Here East campus is the chosen location and extends LMA’s identity and reach from Liverpool and provides an amazing opportunity for students in the capital.
The 30,000 sq ft empty warehouse space at Here East provided Peldon Rose with a blank canvas to design a truly unique and bespoke environment from scratch.
From the design and install of the building infrastructure services through to the curation of furnishings and accessories, this is a space where every detail has been considered to provide a truly unique and purpose-built home for their teachers and students. The built environment provides a wide range of dance, acting, film, tv and music studios and classrooms, a central kitchen and an inspiring sense of arrival which promotes ‘this is the place to be’ to every student who walks through the door.
It was important to retain the industrial fell of the space as this was part of the charm that made LMA choose this location. We resurfaced and painted the vast concrete floors, highlighting the characteristics of the space. The building had no natural light, so we created sky lights in the 10-metre triple height reception space to lift the eye and create a voluminous feel. Industrial high-bay lights are distributed around the space to further illuminate at high-level and lift the overall lux levels.
Impressive scale structural steels were brought into the space via penetrations to the external walls. All the studios were then built and supported off this steel framework structure, that had to be painstakingly designed and installed by our structural engineering teams.
With a property of this size and a large volume of students in occupation, the fire safety designs and DDA considerations were critical. Working alongside the building control team we created safe fire escape routes and easy access without compromising our creative design visions for the space.
The shell and core blank canvas state of the building allowed us to design and engineer specific spaces that were more than just fit for purpose. They were spaces designed to improve and aid the individual’s performance.
We worked closely with LMA to understand the specific use of each studio, we designed the dance studios to have a four-metre-high ceiling providing enough clearance for those ambitious above-the-head lifts (think Dirty Dancing) without hindering the performers. This philosophy was applied to every inch of the project design, no matter the purpose or need.
This project falls outside of the commercial office sector, but we still applied our knowledge and experience of applications such as activity-based working to design a space that works perfectly for the activities being undertaken. Whether that’s an energetic dance performance or a more focused study group, there is a space that suits every task.
Once purpose and performance were assured, we turned our attention to brand and style. It was critical to create a space that not only had context and relevance in London, but that really resonated with the values and vibe of Liverpool. The brand typography, colour and messages seen in Liverpool were beautifully interpreted to create a cohesive connection between London and Liverpool and leave no doubt in your mind that you are in the home of LMA.
Specific pieces of art were curated and careful consideration to the design and placement of signage and messaging really helped deliver that LMA vibe. From Illuminated lightboxes that acted as visual statements and the graphics on the floors and walls to help with wayfinding, this space is unmistakably LMA.
Alison Hollier project designer explains: “LMA was a new challenge for me as a designer, especially the technical aspects, which I really enjoyed getting stuck into. The space itself is incredible, the vastness of the interior and the triple height space in the front reception is a profound moment when you enter the building.
Feature design details throughout the space helped bring the space to life; lightboxes throughout corridors, coloured wayfinding on the ground, pops of orange colour around the spaces and crittall effect glazing just to name a few. The space is really something else”.
Project Director Steve Taylor explains: “Working with LMA has to be one of the highlights of my 18 years at Peldon Rose. How often do you get to work with a client that asks their award-winning X Factor choir to sing to you and your team? Yes, we had our own private concert when we went to Liverpool for the first time and we loved every second!"
“Working alongside our client team of Richard, Simon and Stephanie was a dream for me personally. They have an endless energy and a passion to create something so special, that you cannot help but be swept along by it, and I wanted to help them realise their ambitions. I am so proud to have worked on the project… I’m even thinking of applying for acting lessons! My Liverpudlian accent is boss too!”
3 x creative suites (classrooms)
4 x dance studios (two complete with an adjoining folding wall to create the larger dance studio)
3 x acting studios
4 x rehearsal rooms (musical)
2 x recording studio & live room
2 x recording studio & mixing room (each one marries up with one of the live rooms)
1 x film & TV studio
1 x edit suite
1 x production office (doubles up as meeting room)
1 x tech store
1 x resource room
1 x principal’s office
1 x staff room
Student common area and reception
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