Toynbee Hall was founded as a Universities Settlement in the East End of London in 1884.
One part of the campus is Toynbee Studios, a 1930s addition, originally accommodating a juvenile court, educational spaces and the Curtain Theatre. It is now operated by Artsadmin as a resource for artists, providing rehearsal and administrative spaces and a cafe.
Levitt Bernstein was commissioned following an 'ideas' competition, to reorganise, improve and expand their facilities.
Key to the design concept is the positioning of a new foyer at ground level, opening off the shared courtyard which acts as a focus for arriving artists, performers and visitors. The foyer, with new glazed doors, can be viewed from Commercial Street and highlights the entrance, guiding visitors to the new café bar, theatre and studios beyond. The new rooftop dance studio also acts as a glazed landmark, revealing activity within and giving superb views across North London.