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Case Study #3: The National Theatre Studio

The National Theatre Studio, London

This Grade II-listed building was completed in 1958 to house facilities including scenery and workshops for the adjacent Old Vic Theatre. Architect Lyons Israel Ellis specialised in low-cost buildings with robust, high-quality detailing.

A conservation statement, commissioned by the National Theatre (the current owner) identified the board-marked concrete as being of outstanding significance, although it had already been somewhat compromised after being painted with a thick elastomeric-type paint.

Sadly, the extent and quality of previous repairs made the ideal of removing the paint and leaving the original surface exposed visually unacceptable, but architect Haworth Tompkins worked with contractor Rise Contracts and subcontractor PAYE to find to a coating to blend accurately with the board-marked surface. The solution involved painting a light silica textured wash over the whole surface and then applying opaque Keim Concretal paint.

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