‘NT Future’ masterplan for the National Theatre by Haworth Tompkins

A radically changed urban context

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Haworth Tompkins设计事务所他们近期完工了NT伦敦国家大剧院休整扩建工程。这座1976年开业,位于伦敦南岸的NT大剧院在这次修整中共耗费8000万英镑,改建后的大剧院将在继续为城市服务的前提下重整城市文脉,成为伦敦新中心的心脏。

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Haworth Tompkins announces the completion of NT Future, an £80m refurbishment of the National Theatre on London’s South Bank. Opened in 1976, the NT is one of Britain’s most important 20th century buildings, and arguably the masterpiece of architect Sir Denys Lasdun. NT Future equips the National Theatre to sustain its position at the forefront of theatre, while regenerating the building to address a radically changed urban context.

The National Theatre was designed to be welcoming, and openness lies at the core of NT Future. Audiences will benefit from the Dorfman Theatre (formerly the Cottesloe). Learning groups of all ages will be received in the new Clore Learning Centre. Foyers have been refreshed, and extended with an NT-run riverside café and bar, while landscape has been regenerated around the site. Meanwhile, the backstage workshops – perhaps the biggest factory left in central London – will offer a new engagement with the public both through greater visibility from the street and an internal public viewing gallery. Since Lasdun’s building was completed, the public river walk has been extended, Waterloo has been regenerated, and the South Bank has become a new centre for London. NT Future embeds the National Theatre at the heart of this transformation.

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NT以可持续发展为原则,在改建中增加新建筑创建了全新的多尔夫剧院和克洛尔学习中心,在老建筑中为教育,设计,数字化制作提供空间。同时在面对河岸的地面层为市民提供酒吧咖啡厅。

NT Future has had a long development. Haworth Tompkins was appointed in 2007 to write a Conservation Management Plan for the building, in collaboration with the London Borough of Lambeth, English Heritage and the Twentieth Century Society. This approach created detailed understanding of Lasdun’s architecture as a foundation for the NT Future proposals. The resulting changes include a new production building, the Max Rayne Centre, to the south of the NT; reconfiguration of the Cottesloe Theatre to create the new Dorfman Theatre and Clore Learning Centre; opening up of the north-east corner, formerly a service yard, to address the river walk with a new riverside bar and café; remodelling of the main entrance; transformation of landscape and terraces; and refurbishment of the foyers. NT Future gives the National Theatre new spaces for education, design, digital production, and workshop assembly. Sustainability, based on work by environmentalists Atelier Ten, will be greatly strengthened. Public attitudes to Twentieth Century architecture are changing fast. NT Future aims to make Lasdun’s greatest building accessible to a new generation, while enabling the NT to develop their role at the forefront of world theatre.

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Max Rayne Centre

整个改建中新增的最大体块是是剧院南边的Max Rayne中心,该中心为设计师提供的先进工作和办公场所。外表皮采用了竖向铝格栅与铁丝网。

The scheme’s lynch-pin is the Max Rayne Centre, a new production building to the south of the NT that houses a state-of-the-art painting workshop, production offices, and a studio for designers, as well as departments relocated to enable change elsewhere in the building. Clad in aluminium fins and crumpled steel mesh, the Max Rayne Centre is designed to complement rather than replicate the NT’s masonry language, harmonising with Lasdun’s austere orthogonal forms. Its west-facing balconies enable the NT to address Waterloo Bridge and Upper Ground, while a glazed facade to the east opens up the painting workshop to passers-by.

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Dorfman Theatre

Dorfman剧院被修缮后增加了剧院容量,座位数量还有舞台设备,将为表演者和观众提供更好的体验,同时实现更多的灵活性。该剧院的大厅全天候开放。

The Dorfman Theatre, named after a signature gift from Lloyd Dorfman, founder of Travelex and a long-term NT supporter, maintains the Cottesloe’s spirit while enhancing seating, capacity and stage equipment. Carried out in collaboration with theatre consultants Charcoalblue, the changes will offer a better experience for audiences, and more flexibility for practitioners. The Dorfman will also be available for education use during the day, in conjunction with the Clore Learning Centre, whose education facilities have been converted from former workshops. The Dorfman Theatre foyer has been reconfigured for all-day opening, with access to the public Sherling High Level Walkway that allows visitors to see into the newly-refurbished workshops.

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NT’s north-east corner

NT东北角面对河流的原有服务庭院被转化为向公共开放的酒吧,咖啡厅场所,以及新的入口,这样不仅会为沿河步道带来活力,也能够吸引从河边方向过来的人流进入建筑。

The NT’s north-east corner, formerly a service yard facing the river, has been converted to public use with the creation of The Understudy, a new bar, Kitchen, a relocated café, and a new external entrance to House, the NT’s refurbished restaurant. All catering spaces will be run by the NT itself. They will activate a part of the river frontage that was formerly back of house, enliven the river walk, and offer a new welcome to visitors arriving from the east.

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Main Entrance

国家大剧院的正门依然被保留在建筑的一角上,同时改造得与河边步道有极为良好的连接性。原来的书店搬到门厅的角落。主门厅并未大张旗鼓的秀增,而是在原有的设计上微调,更换了家具还有照明灯具,营造出热情开放的氛围。

The National Theatre’s main entrance, much changed in the 1990s, has been remodelled to improve the connection with the river walk, aid wayfinding, particularly from the eastern approach, and restore the original 45-degree axial entry to the building. The riverside bookshop has been relocated to create life at the heart of the foyers. The main foyers have themselves been refurbished, with signage based on the original design, restored joinery and finishes, and a more transient layer of furniture and lighting to reflect the National Theatre’s own warmth and openness.

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All around the building, landscape has been redesigned in collaboration with Edinburgh-based landscape architects Gross.Max to provide a more consistent setting for the NT. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Terrace has been planted as a garden for the use of local residents as well as audiences. Signage, lighting and furniture have all been transformed.

A project as complex as NT Future has required Haworth Tompkins to develop a range of different architectural responses, from best-practice conservation of concrete (researched with the help of the Twentieth Century Society), through keyhole surgery to improve functionality and adjacencies, to development of an architectural language for new work both sensitive enough to respect Lasdun’s building, and robust enough to stand alongside it. These changes have been carried out within an intellectual framework that safeguards the NT’s precious primary fabric, while finding room for the NT’s own dynamism and freshness to be reflected in its public spaces.

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Haworth Tompkins said:
“Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre is one of the great buildings of the Twentieth Century. We set out to build on Lasdun’s vision of public openness so as to reveal it to new audiences and a changing context. NT Future will keep the National at the top of world theatre. With the South Bank coming to life, we hope our changes will help a new generation celebrate the extraordinary quality of its architecture.”

Lisa Burger, Executive Director of the National Theatre, said:
“We’ve worked with Haworth Tompkins for many years to bring NT Future to fruition. It’s been an immensely collaborative and rewarding process, and we are thrilled with the results, which will open up Lasdun’s wonderful building to the audiences and theatre practitioners of the future.”

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Address: South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
Project Start Date:  October 2007
Completion Date:  April 2015
Overall Cost : £80,000,000
Construction Cost : £50,000,000
Gross Internal Area:  16,309sqm
Dorfman Auditorium : 464 Seats (Previously 330)

Architect: Haworth Tompkins
Client: The National Theatre
Contractor: Lend Lease

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