The Shaftesbury Theatre has been selected as a finalist for the RIBA Open Door Award. As a partnership between RIBA and The British Council, Open Door celebrates architecturally outstanding work in China and the UK with an emphasis on conservation. It recognises the talent of architects who have been qualified for ten years or less and highlights the importance of reinventing heritage buildings for the 21st century.
Having already won two RIBA awards in 2018, the Open Door Award nomination is another accolade for the Shaftesbury Theatre as we continue with our Dramatic Transformation. Our transformation aims to honour the rich past of the Theatre while also acknowledging the needs of a modern audience. With Bennetts Associates Architects, our new fly tower was designed to house new offices, increase the technical capabilities of the Theatre, and protect the existing Grade II listed Edwardian building.
Through these ambitious building works, the Theatre has remained operational. As well as benefitting the building aesthetically, the fly tower has made the Theatre more sustainable for the future, providing a space for a new roof mounted packaged boiler plant room with high efficiency condensing boilers, allowing the Theatre to be cooled and heated more efficiently at a lower cost.
‘Conservation is about two things: it’s about the physical restoration of the building fabric, but it’s also about making buildings relevant and useful today’, Simon Erridge, the Director at Bennetts Associates explains. ‘Old buildings don’t just have to be museum pieces, they can be an important part of our contemporary city.’
Watch the full interview with Simon below to learn more about the construction and significance of the fly tower.