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COLLINS MUSIC HALL, ISLINGTON

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The creation of an avant-garde theatre in the burnt-out shell of the former Collins Music Hall, on Islington Green, would have provided London with a unique and provocative performance space. This competition-winning scheme was designed to meet the stage formats of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Manchester Royal Exchange Company. The auditorium was able to change from a 550-seat thrust stage to a 750-seat in-the-round format, using air-castor technology to move audience seating towers in a similar way to that used at the team's earlier Derngate Theatre in Northampton.

The spirit of the auditorium, a contemporary insertion into a found space, was carried through into the design and character of the public areas, which included gallery space and screening rooms. Linked with a landscape initiative to re-develop Islington Green, the theatre could have become a showcase for the works of the uk's finest regional companies.

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