Latitude/Longitude: 51.5032, -0.10731
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.
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.
⇒ Architecture Guide to LONDON