Moxon Architects has won approval for its proposals to replace the existing theatre ticket office in London’s Leicester Square with a multifunction, bronze-clad landmark
The plans for the southern side of the famous square, which are backed by Westminster City Council, also include ventilation for a major underground substation and an external performance space.
When the application was first submitted, a practice spokesperson said: ‘The building must deal with overlapping technical and programme requirements as well as provide an intriguing focal point for visitors and Londoners alike.
A two-storey 1980s structure on the site will be demolished to make way for the scheme, which will continue to act as the principal ticket office for the Society of London Theatre (SOLT).
Leicester square dusk fog view04
The exterior of the ticket office is defined by an array of gently twisting bronze columns that appear to shift and change as you move around it. From certain perspectives the walls of the ticket office will appear solid and from others it will be transparent and open, animating views into and out of the building.
The project will act as the principal ticket office of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT). Tickets and information will be available in between the concertinaed bronze pleats on the ground floor, with the possibility for a new café or restaurant on the upper level. The scheme also includes a rooftop terrace providing flexible external space for performance and promotional related activities, including coverage of the ‘red carpet’ moments that have become commonplace in Leicester Square in recent years.
The project replaces an existing two-storey structure, and its design and purpose was inspired by both the local context and the energy requirements of the West End. The building respects and embraces the adjacent garden at the centre of the square, which is defined by statute that it provides ‘ornamental pleasure grounds or grounds for play, rest and recreation’. Crucial to the project’s design is that it provides ventilation for the substation below. The cooling system for the substation transformers requires a constant flow of natural air, which Moxon’s proposal incorporates into the layout and appearance of the building.
Moxon Architects’ plans for the new ticket office in London’s Leicester Square