• Bristol Old Vic Anniversary Works
  • Bristol Old Vic Anniversary Works
  • Bristol Old Vic Anniversary Works
  • Bristol Old Vic Anniversary Works
  • Visualisation of foyer wall showing historic brickwork (image credit: Haworth Tompkins)
  • Cross-section visualisation (image credit: Haworth Tompkins)
  • Exterior façade and streetscape (image credit: Haworth Tompkins)
  • Exterior showing new Studio entrance with Theatre Royal foyer beyond (image credit: Haworth Tompkins)

...a worthy new addition to a Georgian gem

BOV Anniversary Works


Project summary


The Grade I listed Bristol Old Vic Theatre is Britain’s oldest continuously working theatre, including the 500-seat Theatre Royal.


Following the completion, the Theatre Royal refurbishment in 2011, the new Anniversary Works project focuses on the foyers and Studio Theatre to complete the building’s upgrade. The Studio is being relocated to the basement level of Coopers Hall, allowing views to the public outside the building on King St. The architectural design of the Studio Theatre exposes portions historic building fabric, balancing this aesthetic ambition with the practical need for sound separation. Having been the theatre consultant for the main auditorium works in collaboration with Andzrej Blonski, we are delighted to have been reappointed by the Old Vic to be the theatre consultant for the works to the studio and dramatic front of house alterations, masterminded by Haworth Tompkins.  


Outside the Studio, the foyer and circulation spaces have been re-imagined to provide an open, exciting and engaging triple-height space that allows free circulation and access. The foyer space will host a range of activities from a cafe, box office and bar, to informal performances and activities, whilst acting as a communal area to access all spaces and venues within the building via enhanced stair cores and lifts.  The design includes the strategic placement of sound-absorptive finishes and zones of low ceiling heights to create a lively, yet controlled, environment that is suited to many different types of users and activities.


The Studio Theatre will be a naturally ventilated space, including requisite acoustic attenuation from the exterior.  The development, including the strategy for dealing with environmental noise to nearby residences, received planning permission in February 2014. Construction began in early 2015 and the works are due to be completed by the end of 2016.