Perth Theatre, Design, Scottish Repertory Project, Location, Image

Perth Theatre Building

Perth Theatre Scotland – design by Richard Murphy Architects, UK

15 Jul 2010

Perth Theatre Building Design

Design: Richard Murphy Architects

Perth Theatre Building, Scotland

This Arts project aims to renew and enhance the existing Edwardian Theatre in the centre of Perth and was won in competition in September 2008.

The project focuses on the conservation and restoration of Perth Theatre’s historic category ‘B’ listed Edwardian auditorium. This is one of Scotland’s oldest and most historic repertory theatres. The building itself was constructed in 1900 but it is part of a much longer history of theatre in Perth dating back to 1589.

Perth Theatre Perth Theatre Perth Theatre
images from Richard Murphy Architects

The need to repair and restore the theatre proved the catalyst for a more ambitious plan to address not only all the accessibility and practical needs of a theatre in the 21st Century but also to provide for the aspirations of a vibrant producing theatre with a lively community programme by creating new Performance, Social and Workshop spaces.

The initial briefing following the competition process identified the following key building objectives:

– A new public face and identity for the theatre.
– New exciting frontage on Mill Street.
– A programme of essential repairs, restoration and upgrade of the historic grade B listed auditorium including the creation of improved audience comfort and the reintroduction of at least part of the original upper circle.
– Improved entrance, circulation and the creation of full disabled access throughout the theatre – particularly at the front door.
– Provision of a new 250 capacity Studio Theatre Space, an essential part of the theatre’s future.
– Creation of enhanced Youth Theatre and Community facilities.

The design proposes the demolition of all the additions built to the east of the original theatre and the creation of a new triple height foyer space which links all levels of the existing and new facilities and contains the bar, restaurant, box office and all social facilities. This foyer is conceived almost as a street linking both the High Street and New Mill Street entrances and from there to the new Concert Hall to the Northeast of the theatre.

The new studio theatre – which is a fully flexible flat floored space with retractable seating – is located at first floor level above the Mill Street entrance. Its reflective metal and glass exterior will be lit to form the principal facade of the new theatre.

Three new workshop/performance rooms are arranged over three floors to the east of the foyer and beneath the studio. These provide multi-purpose rooms for rehearsal and for the thriving youth theatre and community uses.

Around the Brick box of the original theatre we have proposed an eroded drum whose curved walls of white render (edged in stainless steel) give a very visible expression of the place of the theatre both within the foyer and from the High Street. Within these walls we have created the new stair and circulation zones which allow access to the auditorium to be created in a clear and legible way.

The key goal of the scheme is to create simple, legible and accessible routes to all spaces – in contrast to the labyrinthine current layout – set within an uplifting place in which Theatre-goers can enjoy the whole theatre experience.

The project was submitted for Planning Approval in May 2010

Perth Theatre Scotland images / information from Richard Murphy Architects

Richard Murphy

Location: Perth Theatre, Scotland

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