Ipswich councillors have approved plans by Waind Gohil + Potter Architects (WG+P) for a concertina-roofed theatre pavilion in the East Anglian town’s centre
The London practice will create the building along with a new public square outside the 1979 New Wolsey Theatre, designed by Roderick Ham.
Backed by Charterhouse Investments, the scheme will be phase one of a mixed-use regeneration of the Westgate district of the town.
The timber-framed, gold-roofed pavilion will house the theatre’s growing community engagement and creative learning programme. It has been designed to encourage collaborative working and provide a tech hub for developing digital skills in the arts sector, and will incorporate fully accessible Changing Places toilets.
It is intended that the accompanying theatre square will become a gateway to Ipswich town centre.
WG+P director Phil Waind paid tribute to Foster+Partners’ Willis Building in the town and hailed the chance to add a new landmark.
He said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for us to create something delightful within the space for all who visit Ipswich.
‘We wanted a design that aspires and uses construction methods relevant to today. The new public space and building will fundamentally support The New Wolsey Theatre and allow it to maintain and enhance its status as a cultural landmark in the heart of Ipswich.’
New Wolsey Theatre chief executive Sarah Holmes praised WG+P’s work. She said: ’The marvellous golden-roofed pavilion it has designed for us will enable our community programme to flourish and for the first time brings our performance and participation work together on one site. It will absolutely bring new life to the area around the theatre, as well as transforming our audiences’ approach to the New Wolsey Theatre.’
Peter de Savary of Charterhouse Investments added: ‘We hope this project can set an example to others of where public-private partnerships can deliver regeneration and community benefit in this otherwise distressed market.’
The pavilion is expected to complete in Spring 2020.
WG+P Ipswich theatre pavillion
Type of project Cultural
Client Charterhouse Investments
Architect Waind Gohil + Potter Architects
Landscape architect Claire Greener Landscapes
Planning consultant DGW Planning
Structural engineer Price & Myers
M&E consultant Centreline
Quantity surveyor Daniel Connal Partnership
Main contractor Gipping Construction
Tender date May 2019
Start on site date August 2019
Completion date Spring 2020
Contract duration Nine months