Oily Cart Theatre

The home of the touring theatre company for young people with complex disabilities, Oily Cart, is located within the Annexe of a Grade II-listed school in South London (Smallwood School) and recently underwent a refurbishment, with a large part of the existing building fabric retained.

The renovation incorporated a new lift structure for step-free access, an accessible cloakroom, two workshop areas and a first-floor studio and green room, creating a diverse multi-use space. A mezzanine level was added as part of the refurbishment works to extend the usable office space.

Fixed building services were designed with flexibility in mind. This allows users to adapt the building to their needs as these evolve without costly and energy-intensive alterations. This was especially true of the workshop areas where the layout may need to change on a regular basis.

The refurbishment works also included upgrading the artificial lighting throughout the building, installing a high-efficiency boiler and efficient convective heating elements. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery serve the sanitary areas, with the rest of the spaces being ventilated naturally. Refurbishment of the windows, and the re-introduction of passive stacks in the existing chimney stacks facilitate this. Finally, improved electrical systems improve safety and access to the building.