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Citizens Design Bureau wins brace of theatre contests

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Citizens Design Bureau (CDB) has won two theatre commissions – for the Little Angel Puppet Theatre in Islington and the Norwich Playhouse in Norfolk

The London studio won an invited contest, up against six other practices, to win the Little Angel Puppet Theatre project, which will update the popular 100-seat venue in Dagmar Passage close to Angel underground station.

According to the practice, its scheme aims to transform the venue – a former temperance hall – into a more ‘flexible and welcoming’ environment while also ‘ensuring it is as accessible as possible and vitally not losing its sense of fun and charm’.

CDB said it ‘began its approach with a playful analysis of the brief – recognising the diversity of the theatre audiences and the challenge of allowing everyone from grandparents to toddlers to see and enjoy their shows in an intimate but cramped space.’

The studio has also recently triumphed in an open competition to revamp the Norwich Playhouse, which occupies a former maltings on the banks of the River Wensum. The win coincided with the awarding of the RIBA Stirling Prize for nearby Goldsmith Street, which was designed by CDB team member Cathy Hawley working with Mikhail Riches.

The two wins come a year and a half after CDB won a publicly tendered contract for a £4.3 million revamp of the Grade II-listed Jacksons Lane Arts Centre in Highgate, north London. That project won planning in August and is due to start on site in April next year.

The practice’s refurbishment and extension of the Manchester Jewish Museum and St Peter-in-the-Forest church in Walthamstow also started on site this summer.

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