Delfont Mackintosh Theatres
Victoria Palace Theatre, London
When the iconic Victoria Palace Theatre in London’s West End secured the production of the acclaimed musical Hamilton, it needed a restoration that would deliver the comfort and facilities that contemporary audiences expect. As well as helping it to maintain its cultural and commercial viability.
As well as being close to one of London’s busiest transport hubs, works within the building would also run in close proximity to the innovative King’s Scholars’ Pond Sewer running to the right-hand side of the stage. To overcome the logistical and historical challenges of refurbishing this historic Grade II* listed property, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres needed a strategic and experienced partner.
Project: Construction, Fit Out
Sector: Arts and Leisure, Historic
Size: 1550 seat capacity, over three floors
Programme: 91 weeks
Contract: JCT contract without quantities 2011
PM: Buro Four
PQS: Bruce Shaw
Services Consultant: Buro Happold
For more than a century, the Victoria Palace Theatre has had everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Queen Elizabeth II walk through its doors and shape its history.
To restore the grandeur of the venue and reimagine the space for contemporary use, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres appointed 8build to extend, remodel and refurbish the theatre. The extensive restoration involved maximising the potential of the stage and fly tower, extending the back-of-house facilities, improving the comfort of the 1528-seat auditorium and maximising foyer space and front-of-house areas.
Combining a sympathetic restoration with high-specification facilities and state-of-the-art equipment, the grand restoration has enhanced the experience for both theatre-goers and the industry professionals working there.
The theatre’s location posed considerable logistical challenges for the project. As well as being situated on a busy Red Route thoroughfare in Westminster, the theatre is next to London Victoria, one of the capital's busiest train stations. By coordinating deliveries with several main contractors working simultaneously on neighbouring developments, we were able to eliminate the risk of delays posed by these challenges.
To give the building owners the security that their power and theatre systems would not be interrupted when the building became operational and shows were live, we monitored their M&E services closely at every phase of the development.
As our refurbishment of the theatre coincided with major developments on neighbouring sites, we used our engagement and negotiation skills to help minimise disruptions. By nurturing these relationships we ensured cooperation between our project team, the other main contractors and third party stakeholders such as Thames Water and Westminster City Council.
The historic nature of the restoration and the intricacies of the design meant this project included 30 CDP packages. To deliver the standard of finish we demand, it required close collaboration between our supply chain and the design team.
Thank you for all your hard work and commitment that has got us to this point. It has been a huge team achievement and a big production milestone!
Alan Finch, Director, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres
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