Shortlisted for Project of the year, the revamped home of the RSC tries to maintain and represent the history of the site, rather than completely replacing the iconic venue

Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-Upon-Avon, submitted by Mace and Bennetts Associates

Rising stalwart and visible for miles across the rolling Warwickshire hillsides, the soaring brick tower of the revamped RSC powerfully symbolises the rebirth of one of the world’s most iconic performance venues. This is no narcissistic orgy of visionary new architecture, but a painstaking exercise in retention, replacement and renewal. It represents an empathetic approach to architecture that exerts its power through sensitivity of engagement and its relationship with others. Major elements of the original Elizabeth Scott building have been retained. But these have been carefully interwoven into a new fabric defined by dynamic juxtapositions, rationalised circulation spaces, and defiantly utilitarian new tower. The result is a reverential tapestry with a narrative as compelling as the performancess staged within it.

Project team

Client: Royal Shakespeare Company
Architect: Bennetts Associates
Structure and services engineer: Buro Happold
Cost consultant: Gardiner & Theobald
Project manager: Drivers Jonas
Construction manager: Mace
Acoustic engineer: Acoustic Dimensions
Theatre consultant: Charcoalblue