Architects Bennetts Associates have been chosen to redevelop one of Scotland’s premier theatres in Glasgow, UK. The UK firm will work with the Citizens Theatre Company and Glasgow City Council to undertake the most comprehensive redevelopment of the Citizen’s Theatre on Gorbals Street in the building’s 135-year history.
Estimated to cost around €7.5m (£6.5m) and with construction projected to begin in 2016 subject to funding approval, the scheme includes a redevelopment of the original Victorian building. Rehearsal spaces at the theatre will also be improved and more administration and learning accommodation provided, as well enhancing the public facilities.
Alasdair Gordon, Associate Director at Bennetts Associates’ Edinburgh office, said: “It is such an exciting time for the Citizens Theatre and we look forward to being a part of this new chapter in the theatre’s remarkable history. From breathing new life into the wonderful Victorian auditorium to providing new rehearsal, education and studio spaces, this ambitious project will transform the experiences of visitors, staff and performers and will secure the future of one of Scotland’s leading producing theatres.”
Originally opened under the name His Majesty’s Theatre in 1878, the Grade B listed building contains a Victorian auditorium and retains many historical features, including the original machinery under the stage and a Victorian paint frame and related fly system. Bennett Associates was part of a shortlist of six firms for the project and has extensive experiences of designing theatres having recently worked on the redesign of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK and the development of the Hampstead Theatre, London.
Speaking about the appointment of the architects, Adrienne Scullion, the Chair of Citizens Theatre, said: “I’m delighted that the Citizens Theatre will be working with Bennetts Associates and Glasgow City Council to redevelop our landmark theatre building. This is an important capital project for both the Company and the city. The Citizens has always valued its place in the heart of the Gorbals and now, with the Laurieston regeneration project underway, it’s the right time for us to invest in a more efficient, more sustainable building for future generations to enjoy.”