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Top theatre architects lined up for Bristol Old Vic revamp

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Young Vic architect Haworth Tompkins has been named on an impressive, six-strong shortlist in the contest to overhaul Bristol’s Old Vic

The practice is vying for the £8 million project to revamp the auditorium’s front of house alongside RSC Courtyard theatre designers Ian Ritchie Architects, Theatre Royal Bath architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Allies and Morrison, Eric Parry Architects and Levitt Bernstein.

A total of 43 architectural PQQ responses were received following the launch of the OJEU tender in September.

The auditorium on King Street, completed in 1766, is the oldest continuously working theatre in the British Isles. For the last 66 years, it has been the home of Bristol Old Vic. The first phase of Bristol Old Vic’s multi-million pound redevelopment by Andrzej Blonski Architects was completed last month (September 2012) and included the refurbishment of the auditorium, new backstage facilities and rehearsal spaces. 
This second phase is due complete in 2016, in time for the Theatre’s 250th Anniversary and will involve refurbishment of the theatre’s front of house and studio spaces.

Executive Director of Bristol Old Vic, Emma Stenning said: ‘Our reputation is growing through the quality of our work, but our ambitions are hampered by the concealed nature of our building.

‘By revealing the original Theatre walls for the first time, and framing the rest of the building to help it tell its story, we will at last be able properly to celebrate its unique nature and value.’

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