KOKO Camden Restoration Project

Recently, Promain’s technical team were contacted by contractors Oakdene to specify and supply external mineral masonry paint for the restoration of Camden’s Grade II listed KOKO for it’s opening after a fire in 2020.

KOKO Camden: The Venues History

KOKO Camden in 2016 Before The Fire and Restoration Works

Built in the late 1800’s, The Camden Theatre opened at Christmas 1900 as one of the largest theatres in London outside London’s West End. The traditional design with dome was designed by architect WGR Sprague, who developed many other theatres including London’s Lyceum and the Aldwych theatre.

The venue has had various name changes. KOKO as we know it now was previously known as the Camden Hippodrome Theatre, The Music Machine and in the 90’s it was Camden Palace. In 2004, Camden Palace closed for restoration and rebranding as KOKO.

During it’s lifespan so far, the venue has hosted the likes of Madonna, The Clash, Prince, Coldplay, AC/DC, The Killers, Kanye West and more. Various bands and artists have also used the venue to host secret or private concerts. This venue has an importance that runs decades and generations.

The Fire

Using the Coronavirus pandemic to their advantage, the owners took 2019 and 2020 as prime to renovate the building. Unfortunately, a large fire was discovered in January 2020 with eight fire engines and about 60 firefighters in attendance. According to reports, the fire seems to have been within the roof area leading to damage of the dome.

Read more about the fire via the BBC’s report: Koko Camden: Fire engulfs famous music venue

KOKO Camden Fire

Promain’s Specification

During Spring 2021, Ben in our technical team was contacted by Oakdene Finishes Limited. Oakdene have an impressive portfolio of work. From The Savoy to The Shard, Oakdene provide nearly all aspects of decorating at these prestigious sites. They ensure new construction to restoration of historic features is to the highest standard possible.

Oakdene were looking for a specification to recoat the fire damaged exterior of the venue ready for its reopening.

After extensive discussions with the contractors, it was decided that Keim’s Soldalit Silicate Masonry Paint was the best option for the Grade II listed exterior.

Oakdene purchased Keim Soldalit Silicate Paint in Grecian White and Keim’s Exclusiv 9157 colour – a distinctive off white, pebble shade.

Keim Soladlit Silicate Masonry Paint

Keim Soldalit KOKO Camden
Keim Soldalit is a highly developed, multi purpose, exterior sol silicate paint system based on a combination of silica sol and potassium silicate binding agents. This mineral paint coating benefits from a superior and updated formulation. Contractors can apply this coating directly onto existing coatings or modern render without priming. This silicate paint is best used for providing an ultra resistant coating to exterior walls made out of mineral substrates.

Available in most BS and RAL colours on request.

View Keim Soldalit Silicate Paint on our shop here >>

Keim have an impressive history of their paints being used on various listed properties. Their coatings can be found on various landmarks from the Guggenheim gallery in New York, the US government’s White House and Buckingham Palace.

Consequently, the venues restoration was handled by various craftspeople, architects, and endorsed by English Heritage and the Victorian Society. The redevelopment sits at a cost of approx £70 million.

Subsequently, Promain have an extensive portfolio of supplying coatings for prestigious buildings. Take a look at these other articles to find out more:

KOKO Camden: The Restoration

The restoration project incorporates three buildings, the original Victorian theatre from 1900, plus two adjacent buildings including an old piano factory. In conclusion, Olly Bengough, the owner, said the new restoration will pay homage to the venues artistic legacy dating back to its Victorian roots.

Finally, KOKO aims to reopen in 2022 as a 50,000sq/ft multi-use space.



If you have a listed building that is in need of a bit of love, look no further. Promain’s technical team has a wealth of knowledge under their belts. Furthermore, we regularly specify paints for historic buildings and understand the involvement of processes. This therefore ensures the contractors handle sites with the respect they deserve. Promain provide a wide range of historic paints and coatings that benefit from artisan know how of the past combined with modern day longevity and protection.

For example:

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