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New Marlowe Theatre / Keith Williams Architects

  • Architects: Keith Williams Architects
  • Location: Canterbury, Kent, UK
  • Architects: Keith Williams Architects
  • Client: Canterbury City Council
  • Area: 4850.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Courtesy of keith williams architects

Courtesy of  keith williams architects Courtesy of  keith williams architects Courtesy of  keith williams architects Courtesy of  keith williams architects

From the architect. The new Marlowe Theatre was formally opened on 4 October 2011 by the HRH the Earl of Wessex accompanied by the Countess of Wessex, at a gala concert before an audience of 1200 invited guests.

Situation
Situation

This outstanding new cultural building for Canterbury City Council has been created by Keith Williams Architects in the ancient city’s historic heart. Named after Christopher Marlowe, Canterbury’s celebrated 16th century playwright, the Theatre stands by the River Stour, opposite the Cathedral’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Courtesy of  keith williams architects
Courtesy of keith williams architects

The 4,850 sqm building is in formal terms, a complex pavilion. Its composition is ordered by an 8m high colonnade in white cast Dolomite stone, which sets up a civic order to the main facade whilst mediating between the historic fine grain street scale and the larger volumes of auditorium and flytower.

Section
Section

The flytower is shaped to form a sculptural pinnacle facing toward the Cathedral, adding accent and silhouette to the city’s skyline. Clad in a stainless steel mesh skin, its surfaces shimmer and sheen with the changing hues of sky.

Courtesy of  keith williams architects
Courtesy of keith williams architects

The foyer connects all main spaces to the principal auditorium. Lined in black American walnut with seating in red/orange leather, it accommodates an audience of 1,200 on 3 levels.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan

The Marlowe Studio, the focus of youth theatre and experimental theatrical work, is a flexible format theatre seating 150. Placed 6m above the foyer it sets up links to the riverside terraces, and views toward the Cathedral.

Courtesy of  keith williams architects
Courtesy of keith williams architects

The project which started in spring 2009 saw the demolition of the old Marlowe Theatre – which started life as a cinema in the 1930s - and a new Marlowe constructed on an extended site. The stunning main auditorium is set over three levels with an orchestra pit that can accommodate up to 80 musicians, enabling The Marlowe to stage world-class music, theatre and dance.

Courtesy of  keith williams architects
Courtesy of keith williams architects

The Marlowe is Keith Williams’ fourth realized theatre project after The Birmingham Rep, The Unicorn Theatre and Wexford Opera House, cementing his reputation as one of the foremost designers of performing arts buildings anywhere.

Diagram
Diagram

Text provided by Keith Williams Architects

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"New Marlowe Theatre / Keith Williams Architects" 18 Nov 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/184204/new-marlowe-theatre-keith-williams-architects/>