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Haworth Tompkins completes Chichester Theatre revamp

[FIRST LOOK + PLANS + PROJECT DATA] Haworth Tompkins has completed the £13million restoration of the Brutalist grade II-listed Chichester Festival Theatre

The Stirling Prize-shortlisted practice has restored and renewed the building, remodelling the theatre’s auditorium creating a 1,316-seat space, expanding the foyer spaces, improving the parkland setting and adding an extension for back of house services.

The 1962 building was designed by Powell and Moya as a ‘pavilion in the park’. The theatre’s innovative open stage auditorium was inspired by Tyrone Guthrie’s Festival Theatre in Stratford Ontario and was the UK’s first thrust stage performance space.

Haworth Tompkins, which landed the job four years ago, has cleared away all the non-original elements to reveal the building’s original dramatic, cantilevering concrete structure and lightweight cable-tied roof.

The new extension features a cor-ten-clad façade which will patinate changing to a dark bronze colour in the coming years.

Haworth Tompkins director, Steve Tompkins said: ‘Powell and Moya’s theatre is a much loved Chichester institution, a hugely successful national producing theatre, a modernist architectural treasure, a milestone in the development of the contemporary auditorium and the birthplace of the National Theatre Company. So in conceiving this latest incarnation we have been careful to honour that extraordinary legacy, conserving the things that define its unique personality but improving the things that no longer worked. I hope our renovation will help both to safeguard the theatrical future and reframe the architectural boldness of this important, brilliant building.’

Haworth Tompkins' Chichester Theatre revamp

Project data

Location Chichester, West Sussex
Type of project theatre
Client Chichester Festival Theatre
Architect Haworth Tompkins
Project manager Deloitte
Landscape architect Camlin Lonsdale Landscape Architects
Structural engineer Price & Myers
M&E engineer Skelly & Couch
Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald
Main contractor Osborne
Theatre consultant Charcoalblue
BREEAM assessor Price & Myers
Acoustic engineer Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design
CDM co-ordinator Gardiner & Theobald
Transport consultant Mayer Brown
Fire consultant Trenton Fire
Access consultant Babel
Building control Approved Inspector services
Start date April 2010
Completion date July 2014
Gross internal floor area 4,600m²
Total cost £13million

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