A competition winning design to refurbish and improve the stage, stalls and front of house facilities at this Grade II* listed theatre. Originally built in 1744, the theatre is one of the oldest continuously occupied performance spaces in the UK.
The works included significant excavation to improve the under-stage spaces, create a new stage floor and a raked stalls structure. Areas under the balcony were opened out to create a new foyer space, and an existing external stone colonnade enclosed to create additional front of house space.
The building has been altered and extended several times and includes two Scheduled Ancient Monuments which formed part of a medieval monastery, and an award-winning 1967 concrete foyer extension by Architect Patrick Gwynne. Despite preliminary investigations, the early site works were complicated by the discovery of the much more extensive and exceptionally significant archaeological remains of a mediaeval hospital. This required rapid redesign to maintain programme and budget while making the most of the design opportunities.
Funding contributions were secured from the Arts Council England.