Plymouth Theatre Royal Production Centre

Plymouth Theatre Royal Production Centre

Client: Plymouth Theatre Royal
Architects: Ian Ritchie Architects
Type of works: design and supply of Waterloo Architectural Wire Mesh

Plymouth Theatre Royal’s new complex provides a single location for the production of theatrical works, including the construction of sets, costumes and props, combined with rehearsal and education spaces. Sited on reclaimed land overlooking the river Plym, inland the area is industrial, with BOC, a fish factory, oil, sewerage, fertilisers, and the usual crop of tin sheds, engineering structures and the occasional oil tank or gasholder. Into this mix PTR2 forms the thin end of a regeneration wedge.

Ian Ritchie Architects’ multiple-award-winning design provides an open interconnected web of the activities involved in the production of theatre – and PTR2 meets the crucial aim of creating a sense of community and respect for the work of others.

Based on a flexible linear plan, rehearsal and education pods, workshops and assembly spaces slide along the length of a common circulation spine. A palette of tough materials – stone, zinc, and most spectacularly woven bronze – has been employed to meet the challenge of a harsh environment and the demands of making theatre. With time, weather, and the salt-laden air, the bronze will blacken, with hints of green and gold; the bright zinc and galvanised surfaces will develop a mottled softness; internal workshop wall and floor panels will acquire a patina through paint and damage before being replaced. This is an architecture of erosion, time and theatre.

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