Architect signs contract to transform the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Bennetts Associates has won the prestigious £50m contract to redesign the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford.

The firm has been commissioned to take the 1932 Grade II listed building and create a new interpretation of a Elizabethan courtyard theatre to seat 1000 people. It will preserve the key aspects of the original building, including the art deco facade, foyers and stairs linking the stalls to the bars, as well as the gothic exterior of the former 1879 Memorial Theatre, which was partly destroyed by a fire in 1926. The commission also includes the building of new educational facilities for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Permission has been granted for a temporary theatre to be built in Stratford to house the RSC while the work is carried out.

Bennetts Associates, which designed the Hampstead Theatre in London, beat MacCormac Jamieson Pritchard and O’Donnell & Tuomey to win the Stratford contract.

RSC artistic director Michael Boyd said: “I believe we’ve found in Bennetts Associates the right people to join us in creating a more intimate space that our house playwright would recognise as a theatre.”