Royal National Theatre
Partial demolition of the existing building, alterations, and new development including a new education centre and refurbished Cottesloe Auditorium, new café/bar areas, and a four storey extension adjoining Upper Ground for workshop space. Designed by Haworth Tompkins Architects.
26 August 2010
Planning reference: 10/02040/FUL
This is an extremely well considered proposal that addresses the shortcomings of the National Theatre and at the same time respects its cultural and architectural significance. It is evident that the scheme has been designed with a thorough understanding of the existing building which has helped to produce a comprehensive and thoughtfully designed proposal. We are particularly encouraged by the proposition to improve the accessibility and prominence of the entrance and foyer and reinstate the opening beneath the original porte-cochere.
Removing the clutter currently associated with the servicing area and re-discovering and emphasising the drama of the architecture at the north east corner of the building will greatly improve the environmental quality of this area. The theatre will still require a servicing and access area and we trust that the environmental problems associated with this have been resolved.
The public realm and landscaping improvements at ground level will clearly define the buildings territory and create a ground plane that will complement and amplify the architecture of the concrete terraces of the theatre. The soft landscaping proposed to the upper terraces will help to encourage greater use of these areas by the buildings users.
We think the scale, form and mass of the proposed extension to the south of the site complements the scale and materiality of the theatre well. We particularly enjoy the idea that passers-by will be able to view the activities inside, which in turn will help to enliven this area of the public realm.