The transformation of The Old Vic’s front-of-house safeguards the long-term future of this historic theatre, aiming to create a more welcoming environment for patrons that is more reflective of the needs of today’s audiences, community and the inclusive vision of the Old Vic.
Completed whilst the Grade II* listed theatre was open for both performances and daytime use, the project improves accessibility and doubles the WC provision in a complete transformation of front of house spaces. Prior to the project, patrons with accessibility needs had to use a door on a side street to access the auditorium with no access to the front of house facilities. By relocating the rear wall of the theatre stalls further into the auditorium, a new main entrance from Waterloo Road and large box office space was created with a new stair and lift serving the ground floor and basement café and WCs.
This complex reworking of the existing spaces and re-raking of the stalls allows direct disabled access into the front of house and auditorium for the first time in the theatre’s 200-year history. The new bar spaces and WCs revitalise the front of house experience and create an allday destination. Working with interior designer Rebecca Richwhite, carefully selected materials explore texture and colour through the use of tactile elements such as Clayworks textured finishes and exposed mild steel throughout.