Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts is a 10,365sqm purpose-built education facility conceived as a ‘Warehouse for the Arts’, consisting of two interlocking buildings – The Theatre Block, and the Studio Block. The cor-ten steel clad Studio Block is arranged around a central ‘street’ atrium space that works like a mixing chamber for users of the building, allowing students to meet, interact and informally rehearse. The black brick clad Theatre Block has a 200-seat theatre at its heart, along with a dedicated set building workshop, and rooftop restaurant/bar with panoramic views across London.


The building officially opened its doors in September 2018, creating state of the art performance and educational facilities for Mountview’s 400 strong student body, 100 full-time staff, industry professionals, and also a new arts and vocational training programme for the local community. Mountview also strategically links into Southwark’s ‘Creative Enterprise Zone’, this project explores the opportunity to expand the local arts community and stimulate further growth in the creative industries in Peckham.

Mountview is situated in the heart of Peckham – South London, next to Peckham’s iconic and Stirling prize winning public library. Built by UK Contractor of the Year Gilbert-Ash, Mountview’s strategic relocation utilises a vacant brown-field site that was once home to the creative performing arts space Area 10, and now promises to transform arts and arts education within London Borough of Southwark once again.


The build was made possible by a ground-breaking partnership with Southwark Council, who financed the majority of the £22.5million upfront build costs with a long-term loan. Mountview contributed £5.5million through fundraising, including a generous donation from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund – a rethinking of how educational buildings are funded.

This model incorporates spaces to help generate revenue for the school; a pizza restaurant, a café, a retail unit, an amazing rooftop bar and lettable workspaces are intended for daily use by the students with a dual function of drawing in the local community and visitors to break down the barriers seen with so many educational institutions.


Technical facilities available for external hire (21 rehearsal/teaching studios, TV studios) are deliberately targeted to the requirements of theatres in Southwark and the West End, to not only bring in revenue to pay down the capital costs of the build, but also foster healthy links and a pipeline of employment opportunities for Mountview graduates, providing early exposure to the industry.

Mountview Academy


Tim Crocker

NLA 2019 Education Category – Shortlisted