OPEN AIR THEATRE 

REGENT’S PARK, LONDON
COMPLETED: 2008
CLIENT:  NEW SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
CONSTRUCTION COST:  £540,000
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER:  PRICE & MYERS
LANDSCAPE CONSULTANT:  COLVIN & MOGGRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY:  KILIAN O’SULLIVAN

Hidden amongst the trees in Regent’s Park, the Open Air Theatre is a much loved London institution where stories are told as the sun sets on summer evenings.  The New Shakespeare Company required several new facilities including a bar & rehearsal area to support an existing studio space and new toilets for the amphitheatre.  The new facilities are conceived as an extension of the romantic landscape of the theatre, magical grottos entered through holes in the existing hedges.  Simple materials like softwood, plywood and resin, assembled in a carefully controlled way, are made luminous by hidden lighting, lifting the activities out of the realm of the purely prosaic.

The toilets open on to secluded gardens filled with lush, scented plants.  The construction was designed to impact lightly on the environment and the toilets are supplied by water from a borehole in Regent’s Park, reducing the reliance on mains supply.  Construction was completed in 7 months to ensure no interruption to the summer season. Fairy lights twinkle in the hedges, an ethereal setting for A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream

AWARDS

Builder & Engineer Awards 2009, Turning to timber award - Winner
Civic Trust Awards 2009 - Shortlisted
Wood Awards 2009, Commercial and public access - Runner-up
Wood Awards 2009, Best use of panel products - Runner-up

Press

RIBA Journal – August 2008, p40-42,Naomi Stungo, ‘Bottom, thou art translated’
Architecture In Detail vol II, Architectural Press, 2010, Graham Bizley

 

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