For thirty years after its construction in 1970, the Young Vic happily occupied a 'temporary' home designed by Bill Howell. It was much loved by audiences and artists, but by 2004 most of the building was at the end of its useful life, while the Young Vic's needs had expanded with its growing programme of producing, participation and research. Haworth Tompkins were commissioned to replace the building with a larger, more flexible theatre.
“...perhaps the only architects around capable of doing the necessary work and intervening in the right places without ruining the spirit of the place, without stripping it of its passion, its past, of the sweat embedded in its walls.
Only very rarely does this scale of collaboration between architect and artist really work...This is the real thing: building as canvas, as billboard, public art as it should be, generous, huge, vibrant and daring.
Edwin Heathcote Financial Times
Early on in the process it was decided to retain the architectural heart of the Young Vic - the auditorium and its adjacent fragment of pre-war building fabric - rather than demolishing everything. New spaces were disposed around them and in this way an architecture of continuity and accretion was developed, a conglomerate order rather than a single compositional statement.
The aim was to make a theatre that will continue to be knocked around, painted over and generally treated with healthy disrespect by designers, directors, and actors, and to create a dramatically expanded set of theatrical possibilities without any sacrifice of the unique chemistry for which the Young Vic is famous. The Young Vic has won numerous awards and was runner-up for the 2007 Stirling Prize.
The Young Vic
Address: 66 The Cut, London
Completion Date: September 2006
Construction Cost: £6.9M
Client: Young Vic
Project Manager: Buro Four
Contractor: Verry Construction
Structural Engineer: Jane Wernick Associates
Services Engineer: Max Fordham LLP
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon
Theatre Consultant (Technical): Theatre Projects with Charchoalblue
Theatre Consultant (Stage): Studio Andrew Todd
Cladding Consultant: Montresor Partnership
CDM Coordinator: PFB Construction Management Services
Access Consultant: Centre for Accessible Environments
Artist Collaboration: Clem Crosby
AIA / UK Award
British Construction Industry Building Award
Building Award : Building of the Year (Shortlist)
Chicago Athenaeum, International Architectural Award
Civic Trust Award
LEAF Public Building of the Year Award
RIBA Stirling Prize (Shortlist)
RIBA Award (London Region)
RIBA London Building of the Year
RIBA National Award
Structural Steel Design Award Merit
USITT Award with Merit