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Nicholas Hare picked for Brutalist Bloomsbury Theatre revamp

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Nicholas Hare Architects has been chosen to overhaul the 1968 Bloomsbury Theatre in central London

The AJ100 practice has been appointed by building owner University College London (UCL) to ‘sensitively refurbish’ the landmark Brutalist building.

Designed by James Cubitt & Partners – the 550-seat venue was originally known as the Central Collegiate Building Auditorium but was renamed the Bloomsbury Theatre in 1982. Other projects completed by James Cubitt & Partners included Manchester Airport Terminal 1 and the college bar at, King’s College, Cambridge.

Located on Gordon Street at the heart of the UCL campus – the theatre hosts student productions and stand-up comedy and has featured Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand, Ricky Gervais and Harry Hill. Paul Murphy Architects completed a new foyer and basement studio space at the theatre two years ago.

Nicholas Hare Architects’ scheme will overhaul and renew the iconic main venue, delivering new technical and services infrastructure to create a ‘more inclusive and far-reaching’ environment.

Studio partner James Eades said: ‘We enjoy engaging with forward-thinking clients, the challenge of tricky existing buildings, and extending our expertise in successful theatre projects. For us, working with the UCL team to reinvigorate the Bloomsbury Theatre is an ideal opportunity.’

In a statement, UCL culture said: ‘This cutting-edge revamp will give student societies and productions the full benefits of a 21st century theatre and create the opportunity for collaboration between academics, artists, performers, directors and companies.’

Construction is planned to start later this year and complete in autumn 2018.

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