Winchester Theatre Royal

HCC Property Services, Winchester , 2019


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A redevelopment of the front of house areas of the 1850 building

The Theatre Royal is a Grade II Listed 420 seat Theatre, situated within the conservation area of Winchester City Centre. It presents up to 200 performances per year and welcomes over 70,000 visitors. Constructed in 1850 as the Market Hotel, the building was converted to a cine-variety theatre in 1914.

In 2001 an extensive remodeling project was completed which included a new foyer, however by 2019 the building was failing to meet the needs of the Theatre Trust and HCC Property Services were appointed to assist with a redevelopment of the front of house areas of the building.

The client’s brief was to create a welcoming public café-bar, which attracts Theatre goers in the evening but also provides public space for creative meetings and informal performances during the day. They key strategy behind the design proposals was the creation of a high quality, open and flexible bar area, to be highly visible and engaging to passers-by, providing the Theatre with the ability to deal with large numbers of customers in the short interval periods.

The new bar is fronted in brass and coupled with a new timber parquet floor throughout the ground floor and programmable LED lighting, the resultant space carries the impressions of luxury and performance to be found in the main auditorium finishes. In addition to the remodeled foyer, there is a multi-purpose performance space, which is able to be subdivided from the bar, contains its own audio-visual facilities, and features a large scale sculpture by local artist Nadine Collinson.

As a result of this project, public engagement with the building has significantly increased and it is hoped the Theatre will be able to continue to welcome visitors for another 100 years.

Photography by Jon Skipper, Keith Evans


  • Begun: Jun 2019
  • Completed: Sep 2019
  • Floor area: 176m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £242,000
  • Tender date: Apr 2019
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works Contract, competetive tender
  • CO2 Emissions: 132kg/m2/year
  • Address: Theatre Royal, Jewry St, Winchester , SO23 8SB, United Kingdom

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