The Shaftesbury Theatre – London Building

The Shaftesbury Theatre London, Building, Pictures, Architect, Design, Location, Images

The Shaftesbury Theatre Building

Key Arts Architecture in London, England, UK – design by Bennetts Associates

12 Mar 2013

The Shaftesbury Theatre in London

The Shaftesbury Theatre Building, north London

Design: Bennetts Associates


New flytower at iconic Grade II listed theatre
Extra dressing rooms and office space created

Burn The Floor – new dance spectacular – opened at theatre last night

The Shaftesbury Theatre – where the new dance show Burn The Floor opened last night – has been granted planning consent for the redevelopment of the Grade II* listed building. The theatre, an iconic landmark on Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End, has had the proposals of Bennetts Associates Architects granted by Camden Council.

Shaftesbury Theatre Building London
image from architect

The project consists of internal and external alterations to the theatre’s existing stagehouse and flytower, ensuring the long-term viability of the venue to accommodate large-scale, self-produced and touring productions.

Located at the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and High Holborn, the Shaftesbury Theatre was originally designed by the renowned theatre architect Bertie Crewe and opened as New Princes Theatre in 1911. In 2002 the flytower was strengthened to increase capacity and in recent years has seen further temporary adaptations to accommodate larger shows. The proposed extension to the flytower, on the Eastern boundary of the building facing Grape Street, will increase its height and loading capacity, with the aim to eliminate the need for temporary adaptation in future.

The west face of the extension will incorporate dressing rooms and office accommodation, increasing and consolidating the theatre’s support spaces which are currently housed in several locations across the site.

Bennetts Associates’ bold design approach employs distinctive cor-ten steel cladding, which responds to brick and terracotta in both the existing theatre facades and the adjacent King Edward’s Mansions. The height of the proposed flytower corresponds to the height of the mansion blocks, having the effect of completing the Grade II* listed city block.

The continuous, faceted form reduces the visual massing of the flytower and creates a series of bays in the façade, which reflect the scale and grain of the adjacent mansion blocks.

Simon Erridge, Director at Bennetts Associates, said: “The extension to the flytower at the Shaftesbury Theatre is an exciting and important addition to the prominent Grade II* listed theatre and will ensure the future of the theatre to host large-scale productions. We look forward to working to deliver a design which not only transforms the theatre experience but creates a contemporary architectural addition to this important West End site.”

James Williams, Chief Executive of the Shaftesbury Theatre, said: “Whilst maintaining the grace and beauty of the Shaftesbury we will now have a contemporary addition that will enhance the facilities of the Theatre giving us the capacity to accommodate the increasing demands of productions. We are thrilled with the benefits that this will bring to our customers, producers and actors visiting and working at the Shaftesbury.”

The Shaftesbury Theatre Building – Further Information

About Bennetts Associates

Bennetts Associates is one of the UK’s leading architecture practices with a portfolio of work that has won more than 125 awards, with projects in education, commercial and public sectors as well as theatres, cultural and historic buildings. The firm has a reputation for its design quality, approach to sustainability and for its collaborative style of working.

The practice was behind the highly acclaimed transformation of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, completed in 2010, and the new Hampstead Theatre in London. It is currently working with leading UK theatres on a variety of projects, including the major redevelopment of Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre and a new £40m theatre and library in Chester.

Bennetts Associates is based in London and Edinburgh and is currently around 70 strong.

Bennetts Associates

About The Shaftesbury Theatre

The Shaftesbury Theatre is the West End’s largest independent theatre owned, since 1983, by the Theatre of Comedy Company.

Built in 1911 the Shaftesbury is one of the most intimate lyric houses in the West End. In recent years notable productions at the Theatre have included Tommy, Rent, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, Rock of Ages and currently Burn the Floor.

Independence drives an ambition to make the Theatre one of the best commercial theatres in London. Over £2.5m has been spent on the fabric of the build in recent years. This has included better facilities for actors backstage, improved comfort for audiences through reseating, carpeting, air conditioning and, importantly, hugely improved toilet and bar facilities. In addition, the exterior elevations of the Theatre have been restored to the original Edwardian beauty to mark the building’s first 100 years. Importantly, the Theatre aims to offer its producers the most flexible and welcoming environment to aid the success of their productions.

About Burn The Floor

Since 1999 Burn the Floor has thrilled audiences around the world. Years before Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance turned ballroom dancing into must-see TV, this sizzling Ballroom and Latin dance spectacular was setting stages ablaze. Burn the Floor features international championship dancers, many of whom have appeared on those television shows, which have also featured Burn the Floor Creative Director Jason Gilkison as guest choreographer and judge. A ticket to Burn the Floor is a ticket to a night of elegance and excitement as the cast perform a dazzling array of dances including the Waltz, Cha Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Mambo, Tango, Swing, Jive, Lindy Hop, Viennese Waltz, Pasa Doble and more.

Location:London ‘