Going underground in London
© Tate Harmer
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Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s first ever project, the Rotherhithe shaft is set to be transformed into an underground performance space in London by Tate Harmer
190 years after construction first began on the Grade II listed Thames Tunnel, and 150 years after it was closed to the public, the Rotherhithe shaft will be resurrected as an underground ‘cavern’ theatre by Tate Harmer.
A stunning freestanding, cantilevered staircase will be central to the design, allowing visitors to experience a bit of engineering history, as part of the Brunel Museum’s plans to bring wider public access to Brunel’s works.
The former entrance shaft to the historic Thames Tunnel will become a newly accessible underground space and a key exhibit for the museum, hosting events and performances and breathing new life into Brunel’s first project. Tate Harmer has also proposed a new public entrance into the shaft, to ensure the space is fully accessible.
The story goes that Brunel’s father began the project and then handed