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Two years ago the Arts Team was selected with Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners to advise the Royal Shakespeare Company on its £100 million development at Stratford on Avon. Through a detailed analysis of the existing situation, coupled with lengthy think-tank sessions involving the full spectrum of staff, the team was able to evaluate the deficiencies and the potential of this remarkable site. A range of options was developed and examined in detail with the board of governors, including a new-build theatre on the opposite side of the river.

The preferred-option design brief enhanced the essential elements of the Stratford tradition and included the retention of the seminal 1932 building designed by Elizabeth Scott. This Grade II*-listed building, though much altered and debated over the years, is the spiritual home of the rsc and was shown to have great potential in developing a new theatre within the old shell. Considerable modifications and zones of new building would enhance the collegiate atmosphere, and provide opportunities to incorporate new educational facilities to raise the company's international profile. Above all, it would enable the company to operate more effectively and provide the basis for a higher level of achievement.

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