Sight and Sound

A creative vision

Our vision is for a new cultural and creative heart at South Hampstead - a space which will be inspiring, beautiful and flexible. A place to welcome back our alumnae, to welcome in the surrounding community and to encourage and inspire our pupils for generations to come.

“This project is not just about a hall, it is about creating the heart of
who we are and who we want to be”
Vicky Bingham, Headmistress


Shine bright

The design is for a visually stunning centre where pupils and staff can learn, rehearse, perform and welcome the world outside to share intellectual thinking and creating talents.

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A Steinway D Grand Piano:

The hall will become home to our fabulous new piano which will enhance the performance of our pupils as well as attracting professional musicians.

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Acoustic Panelling:

The walls will be lined with vertical timber panelling and the walls, ceiling and technical gantry will be designed to optimise the reflecion, absorption and diffusion of sound. 

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Retractable Seating:

244 retractable tiered seats will bring the audience and performer closed together. With a capacity for up to 574, we can use the hall for any type of event or performance.

Technical Gantry:

A gantry will surround the hall and allow for lighting and technical support for productions and provide safe and secure access for pupils to learn about backstage areas of theatre and concert productions.


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Feature Lighting:

Integrated LED lighting can be controlled to create the right environment for all uses ranging from exam conditions to evening events.

Storage & Support:

The heating and ventilation strategy will ensure a comfortable environment in all conditions and unsightly services will be integrated within the timber panels, creating functional systems without compromising the design aesthetic.


Speak out

The space will adapt to be a concert hall with acoustics to encourage and enhance outstanding musical performances; a theatre with a fitting stage to instil the confidence to speak up, speak out and shine; a learning space to create a silent, comfortable environment to encourate the very best results; and an entertainment space to dancing, laughter and celebration.

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Leave your Legacy

We want everyone to be part of this extraordinary project. Help us to raise £3 million by making a donation today.

 ‘We hope that everyone associated with South Hampstead will get involved in whatever way they can and join with us in helping to make our vision for the Waterlow Hall a reality’

Helen Strange - Chair of Governors

contact to find out how you can get involved.  


The Campaign Board

The Campaign Board is made up of those who have already made a financial commitment to the project and have agreed to help us approach and engage others.

Our current members include governors, alumnae, former parents and representatives from every year group of South Hampstead.

Board Members:

Charlotte & Peter Bolland
Steve & Michelle Curtis
David & Mrs Kirsten Fear
Tilly Franklin
Simon and Claudia Goodman
Lars & Annick Huber
Verdi & Maria Israelyan
Robert Laurence
Joel & Suzanne McDonald
Charles and Laura Mindenhall
Keith & Shauna Moss
Elizabeth Nisbet
Anthony & Jaqueline Todd
Ben & Susannah Whitmore

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The Campaign Committee

Parents, staff and friends of South Hampstead who have volunteered their time and expertise to help us fundraise. Project include the film, 3D model, the ‘Shine a Light’ appeal and a series of events and an auction planned for the campaign launch.

Chris Alaru, Monica Allan, Allison Bright, Steve Collisson, Leann Cripps, Michelle Curtis, Claudia Goodman, Fiona Hurst, Julia Keller, Sascha Lowdermilk-Oppenheim, Jane Lyons, Ashwina Manglani, Amy Rynehart/Gelber, Lucy Sanderse, Suji Scalpello/Naik , Carly Selby, Jessica Sokel/Learmond-Criqui, Charlotte Sterling, Seema Wadhwani, Sophie Whitworth


Find out what our staff, pupils and notable South Hampstead alumnae think about the project and how much it means to them.


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“As an actress, I have the opportunity to be everyone, to try on everyone’s shoes. It is a wonderful way to build an understanding of the world.”
— Helena Bonham Carter (SHHS 1984)

Joanna MacGregor (SHHS 1978)
Musician and Campaign Ambassador

‘South Hampstead gave me the opportunity to be bold, and explore my creative interests in a supportive, knowledgeable environment. I had the gift of a free education, encouraging me to be academically ambitious, and introducing me to a world of ideas and possibilities.’

Gemma Rosefield (YO 1999)
Professional Musician - Campaign Ambassador

‘Environment can have a huge impact on performance and aspiration. Music played a huge part in my life at South Hampstead and the proposed Waterlow Hall will be a truly inspiring venue. I am honoured to support the campaign for this project and help South Hampstead make this vision a reality’

Charlie Ely (SHHS 2007)
heatre Director - Campaign Ambassador

‘The performing arts are so important - creativity is so important - to personal and professional development, whatever career you choose.’


Despina Tsatsas (2000)
Theatre producer and Campaign Ambassador

"Theatre at South Hampstead laid the groundwork for my career. Through the leadership of our drama, music and art teachers we learned vital lessons about the collaboration and joy of making something in a group, as well as experiencing first hand the impact of creative expression.

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Lilah Fear (YO 2017) 
Ice dancer - Campaign Ambassador

'I was well prepared for all of the experiences by my time at SHHS. I learned a lot about leadership as part of the Head Girl Team and loved my time as a Music Scholar. The music department at SHHS is truly inspirational and I know it and the whole school would benefit greatly from the Waterlow Project.'



Ms Etheridge

has recently been appointed our new Director of Debating and Public Speaking.

'I am hugely excited about the re-development plans for the Waterlow Hall. Our girls will benefit from a wide range of public speaking opportunities in this state-of-the-art facility, from small-scale talks and presentations to competitions and debates in collaboration with other schools. The flexible seating, fantastic acoustics and impressive appearance of the new hall will make it the ideal venue to host South Hampstead’s exciting programme of events. The new space will open up huge possibilities for the future of public speaking at South Hampstead – I can’t wait to make the most of it!'

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Mr Clarke

The man to go to if you need something done at SHHS, Mr Clarke has been part of our estates team for eight years and knows Waterlow Hall like the back of his hand -Our lighting and sound desks are antiquated and face completely the wrong way! That means we are forever calling in outside suppliers which is expensive and time-consuming. The new lighting and technical gantry will be fantastic and allow the pupils to get much more involved in this side of things. There is also very little storage in the current hall so we are always having to squeeze equipment in behind screens and move things around. The plans for the new hall include great storage which is neatly hidden away. The other thing I am really looking forward to is the air conditioning. That will make such a huge difference to the whole experience of being in the hall’

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Mrs Bernstein/Mrs Kamps

Mrs Bernstein and Mrs Kamps see the possiblities for physics with the new Waterlow Hall

‘The redeveloped hall presents all sorts of opportunities for teaching and learning. The new lighting rigs and technology will help us to explain about colour mixing, LEDS, semi-conductors and much more and the whole building will enable us to show how physics can be used in all sorts of creative industries and the wide variety of STEM careers that are available to our pupils.’

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Mr Clulow

Mr Clulow has worked in the Estates department here at South Hampstead for the past 3 years.

The Waterlow Hall is used for so many different things that we are in and out setting it up and moving the furniture numerous times every day. The new seating will make such a huge difference to the versatility of the Hall and the time it takes to get it ready for assemblies, talks, productions, concerts, functions and all the other uses the hall has. Roll on retractable seating – we can’t wait!

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Mr Christensen

The head of music in the junior school is really looking forward to the new hall - “Having conducted several large-scale Junior School events and productions in a space which is essentially un-equipped for instrumentalists new to ensemble playing, I thoroughly look forward to a hall designed for live music; where tiered seating allows every member of the audience to enjoy the results of the hard work our girls put into orchestra and choir rehearsals week on week; where flexible staging makes it easier to produce events ranging in scale from our Year 1 Strings Project to the Year 6 Musical Production; and, finally, where world-class acoustic engineering make concerts more enjoyable for both performer and listener”


Campaign reception events

Hosted by members of our Campaign Board, these events are an opportunity for parents to learn more about the project and the fundraising.

We have invited those with a specific interest in the project or with children in similar year groups but these events are open to anyone who is interested in supporting the Waterlow Hall Fundraising campaign so please do contact if you would like to be included on the guest list.

Tuesday 25th September - Music and upper senior school

Wednesday 26th September - Drama and Public Speaking and middle senior school

Thursday 11th October - Junior School

Thursday 10th January - Lower senior school

Wednesday 16th January - New parents


Breakfast drop-in

For parents new to SHHS or parents who have not yet had a chance to see the designs.

Come and find out about the exciting plans to develope the Waterlow Hall and our fundraising campaign.

Look out for details of our next date.

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The Waterlow Hall Gala Dinner

Saturday 16th November 2019

Save the date for the fund raising finale. This is an evening for the whole community to come together to celebrate and socialise. An extra special night set in an fabulous location. There’s a chance to win a free ticket if you can guess the venue, so keep your eyes peeled on Twitter and the newsletters for the clues!


Past Events

We are keen to make sure that everyone has had a chance to see our plans and ask questions about them before we seek your support. Over the past year we have held more than 18 events to show parents our plans but we know that you can never find the right time for everyone to attend so if you would like to arrange a separate meeting then please contact

Consultation events : Feb-March 2018

Head’s receptions - Feb-April 2018

Junior School Open day - July 2018

Campaign Board meeting - Sept 2018

Virtual Reality model - Sept 2018

Campaign board receptions - Sept 25th 2018, Sept 26th 2018, Oct 11th 2018

Breakfast drops-ins - October 6th 2018, October 12th 2018, November 20th 2018

Senior School parent evenings - November 2018