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Keith Williams gets to work on another theatre - images

Keith Williams has been handed yet another theatre project after winning the concept design competition for the proposed revamp and extension of the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, Kent.

William's practice saw off entries from Levitt Bernstein, RHWL, John McAslan and Burrell Foley Fisher to win the £24 million scheme in the heart of the historic cathedral city.

Contest organiser Canterbury City Council was impressed by the firm's 'radical proposal' to 'sweep away' the front of the existing building - originally opened as a cinema in 1933.

The Art Deco facade will be replaced by a multi-level glazed foyer which Williams describes as 'a crystal ribbon sitting in contrast to the [neighbouring] medieval and Georgian architecture'.

The winning designs also include plans to add a second, 200-seat theatre and expand the main 1,200-seat auditorium.

Rebuilt back-stage facilities, a remodelled flytower and new foyers and bars are among the other proposals.

Williams said: 'Naturally, I am delighted that I have won this prestigious competition and I am looking forward to developing our concepts with the city council and their partners to produce a world-class theatre for Canterbury.'

Work on site is expected to start in January 2009 and the 'transformed' Marlowe is due to open in autumn 2010.

by Richard Waite

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