Shaftesbury Theatre
13/03/2013 by Buildington
The Shaftesbury Theatre - where the new dance show Burn The Floor opened last night - has been granted planning consent for the redevelopment of the Grade II* listed building. The theatre, an iconic landmark on Shaftesbury Avenue in London's West End, has had our proposals granted by Camden Council.

The project consists of internal and external alterations to the theatre's existing stagehouse and flytower, ensuring the long-term viability of the venue to accommodate large-scale, self-produced and touring productions.

Located at the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and High Holborn, the Shaftesbury Theatre was originally designed by the renowned theatre architect Bertie Crewe and opened as New Princes Theatre in 1911. In 2002 the flytower was strengthened to increase capacity and in recent years has seen further temporary adaptations to accommodate larger shows. The proposed extension to the flytower, on the Eastern boundary of the building facing Grape Street, will increase its height and loading capacity, with the aim to eliminate the need for temporary adaptation in future.

Simon Erridge, Project Director, said: "The extension to the flytower at the Shaftesbury Theatre is an exciting and important addition to the prominent Grade II* listed theatre and will ensure the future of the theatre to host large-scale productions. We look forward to working to deliver a design which not only transforms the theatre experience but creates a contemporary architectural addition to this important West End site."

The west face of the extension will incorporate dressing rooms and office accommodation, increasing and consolidating the theatre's support spaces which are currently housed in several locations across the site.

The design team's design approach employs distinctive cor-ten steel cladding, which responds to brick and terracotta in both the existing theatre facades and the adjacent King Edward's Mansions. The height of the proposed flytower corresponds to the height of the mansion blocks, having the effect of completing the Grade II* listed city block.

The continuous, faceted form reduces the visual massing of the flytower and creates a series of bays in the facade, which reflect the scale and grain of the adjacent mansion blocks.

James Williams, Chief Executive of the Shaftesbury Theatre, said: "Whilst maintaining the grace and beauty of the Shaftesbury we will now have a contemporary addition that will enhance the facilities of the Theatre giving us the capacity to accommodate the increasing demands of productions. We are thrilled with the benefits that this will bring to our customers, producers and actors visiting and working at the Shaftesbury."

Source: Bennetts Associates 13. March 2013
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