Young Vic

Haworth Tompkins, London, 2006


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New elements have their own robust beauty. Nothing here is ad-hoc or haphazard 

Steve Tompkins     Download Original

  • New elements have their own robust beauty. Nothing here is ad-hoc or haphazard    
  • To the right is the adapted auditorium, featuring the work of Clem Crosby    
  • The architects did not want to create an iconic singular monolith    
  • The Stirling Prize nominated Young Vic    
  • To the left is the rehearsal block in wavy brick    
  • The central mass is the retained old butcher shop    
  • New and old combine effortlessly, thanks to the tireless work of the design team    
  • At the first floor level, the foyer extends out onto the streetside terrace    
  • The auditorium has more height and extensive new technical provision    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    

Redevelopment of a flexible theatre space in Lambeth, London

Originally designed by Bill Howell at a cost of £60,000, the Young Vic Theatre opened in 1970 and was only intended to be a temporary home. 30 years later, work was judged essential and started on site in 2004.

Substantial work was carried out on the main auditorium, which retains much of the old fabric but adds a new layer of circulation and entrances, raises the height with a new lighting grid and provides a moveable wall and demountable gallery into the large new workshop so that an extended thrust stage can break the boundary of the square.

Other alterations include two new adaptable performance and studio spaces, work on public facilities such at the bars and lobby, and backstage spaces.

Clem Crosby was commissioned to work on a series of painted panels on the facade of the main theatre, which are overlaid with expanded metal mesh.

Through the form and closeness of elements, adjacencies in plan work extremely hard to produce an intensity of activity that extends the original theatre’s essential character.


  • Completed: 2006
  • Floor area: 3,155m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £7M
  • Address: Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Lambeth, London, SE1 8LZ, United Kingdom

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