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ABTT presents a visit to the ” Sam Wanamaker Playhouse”

The Globe Theatre 2014 Allies and Morrison

Photo Credit: Nick Guttridge

ABTT  presents a visit to

“Sam Wanamaker Playhouse”

Thursday 4th September 2014

Venue: Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT

Time: Meeting in the main foyer on New Globe Walk at 13:00.


RSVP to the office by Monday 1st September

The new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe is an archetypal Jacobean indoor theatre, erected within a shell built in the mid 1990s.

The proportion, scale and arrangement are based on two drawings held at Worcester College, Oxford. Originally considered to be drawn by Inigo Jones from 1616, they are now believed to have originated from John Webb, Jones’ protégé, some fifty years later. Despite the later date, the drawings remain the best indication of the nature of an indoor Jacobean theatre.

Working from, rather than to, these plans, the team, including Reconstruction Architect Jon Greenfield, has undertaken research to arrive at a design that is authentically Jacobean in its materials, construction methods and decoration, as well as seamlessly accommodating the obligations that a modern theatre has for ventilation, accessibility and fire regulations – especially considering the use of candlelight. This process involved regular dialogue with the Globe’s Architectural Research Group, a team of scholars, performers and specialist practitioners. Work on the green oak frame, including traditional carving, jointing and turning, was led by specialist craftsman Peter McCurdy of McCurdy & Co.

The project also entailed the extensive refurbishment of the Globe’s foyers. The foyers were not coping with the volume of people who use them and as a result needed remodeling to address issues such as crowd flow and wayfinding.

The scheme incorporates a new cafe/bar, much improved visitor services including box office, information desk and better access to the shop. It sought to de-clutter the spaces and improve the legibility of the site’s principle buildings – the Globe, the Playhouse and the Swan. The foyer effectively becomes a space between buildings and an extension of the public realm. The alterations made to the facade bring the street closer to the interior, blurring the boundary between inside and outside and improving visibility of the interior from the street.

The theatre and foyer works formed two sections of a single traditional building contract. It took 22 weeks to complete the foyer while the rest of the site remained operational. The Playhouse was completed in 44 weeks. Total build cost was £5 million.

Download the PDF. below for full information, directions, travel notes and RSVP details.

ABTT Theatre Visit_Sam Wanamaker Playhouse