Following successful completion of the Egg Theatre for children and young people, the Theatre Royal, Bath, commissioned Haworth Tompkins to renovate their 'second space', the Ustinov Studio.
First, an improved public entrance and street presence were created for the Ustinov Studio. Inside, the foyer area was extensively remodelled so as to separate backstage and front of house areas.
“I couldn't be happier with the transformation from the old Ustinov to the new Ustinov, which is like having a brand new theatre. I've got the Ustinov we always wanted from the project ... an exciting, vibrant, welcoming space, a fully functioning 'grown-up' theatre and a real complement and partner to the wonderful 'Egg' children's theatre. ”
Andrew Smaje, Associate Director, Theatre Royal
The existing performance space was transformed to create a flexible and technically sophisticated studio theatre adaptable for both spoken and musical performance. Improvement of the facilities for performers and technical staff was also a priority. Construction of wings and get-round provided full stage access. Circulation was rationalised to offer direct access to dressing rooms. Meanwhile, lighting bars were fitted to provide flexible stage lighting, and a fully-equipped control room was constructed at high level.
Close collaboration with the client was vital to stretch an extremely tight budget to the limit. By making a virtue of this restriction, the aim has been to develop an architectural language which was warm and welcoming, but reflected the experimental nature of the studio's work.
Address: Monmouth Street, Bath
Completion Date: February 2008
Construction Cost: £1M
Client: Theatre Royal Bath
Contractor: Emerys of Bath
Structural Engineer: Momentum Engineering
Services Engineer: Ernest Griffiths
Acoustic Engineer: Fleming Barron
Quantity Surveyor: Stephens & Co
Theatre Consultant: Charcoalblue
Access Consultant: Tom Lister Associates