• Susan Roberts Academy
  • Elevations of proposed building (image credit: Charcoalblue)

...a low-cost way to make high-performance dance studios

Susan Roberts Academy


Project summary


Susan Roberts Academy offers courses in dance, drama, singing and musical theatre for children and young people from age two to eighteen, and is based at St Andrew’s School in Cobham. The Academy currently uses the school facilities during evenings and weekends, but their increasing popularity means that the school facilities are no longer fit for teaching specialist classes and the Academy is in urgent need of more suitable premises.


Having agreed a ten-year lease of  part of the school grounds, east of the school’s overflow car park, the Academy has been working with Charcoalblue to design a new home comprising two large studios and several smaller spaces. Studio 1 will be the largest space and is sized for larger dance and drama groups, with potentially a small audience for occasional performances. Studio 2 is smaller but also sized for group dance and drama classes, while the remaining spaces will be sized for smaller groups or one-to-one tuitions.


To minimise the impact on neighbours, the studios will have a climate-controlled environment with sealed acoustic-quality windows. Simple timber-framed construction is intended to enable a build programme of no more than six months, while client fit-out of dance mirrors, theatre technical equipment and seating will keep the construction costs to a minimum.