The new back of house building and box office complete Haworth Tompkins' work at the Regent's Park Open Air theatre. Built entirely of engineered natural timber and conceived as an inhabited boundary to the woodland along the Inner Circle, the project was completed in just seven months to allow summer theatre seasons to continue uninterrupted.
“Subtly but incisively redesigned by Haworth Tompkins, the building looks sleek and intentional”
Susanna Clapp, Theatre critic
The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre is the country's only permanent outdoor theatre and is a much-loved London institution, playing to audiences of up to 1240 every evening throughout the Summer. The last major renovation work took place in 1999 when Haworth Tompkins re-designed the technical and front of house spaces. The current project replaces the changing room block, adds new administration offices, upgrades the workshops, refurbishes the studio and creates a new entrance and box office.
The new buildings, threading around existing structures and trees, form a series of linear elements culminating in the external public facade of natural and stained larch. Lightweight piles support a prefabricated, engineered timber structure that was erected on site in three weeks. The new box office is designed as a series of large folding screens to encompass several permutations of use. The black inner lining of the main door, decorated with a playful leaf pattern that alludes to the gilded ironwork of the Park gates, folds out to announce the theatre when open.
Open Air Theatre
Address: Regent's Park, London
Completion Date: May 2012
Construction Cost: £2.5M
Client: Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
Constructor: Ashe Construction
Project Manager: Bollingbrook
Structural Engineer: Price and Myers
Service Engineer: Skelly & Couch
Quantity Surveyor: Bristow Johnson & Partners
Access Consultants: People Friendly Design
Landscape Architect: Camlin Lonsdale Landscape Architects
Civic Trust Commendation
New London Award : Public Buildings