St James Theatre, the first newly built theatre in London’s West End for 30 years, will open its doors to the public tomorrow, 18 September. The new theatre, just south of Buckingham Palace, has been built on the site of the old Westminster Theatre which burned down in 2002. The building has been designed by experienced theatre-design practice Foster Wilson Architects whose other similar projects include The Tricycle Theatre and Cinema (Kilburn), Parabola Arts Centre (Cheltenham Ladies’ College), The Yaa Centre (Maida Hill) and The Broadway Theatres (Barking and Peterborough).
Foster Wilson has created a beautiful theatre to accommodate 312 people in the auditorium as well as 100 in a separate studio theatre, bar and restaurant. The main theatre auditorium is lined with fumed oak panelling and has recessed lighting to create an intimate and atmospheric space for drama. The studio theatre has a flexible stage, bar and lounge seating and has been designed as a relaxed and comfortable venue for live music, comedy and drama. The theatre bar and restaurant has been furnished by Designed Interiors with a spectacular new staircase designed by the artist Mark Humphrey, hand crafted in Italy using Pietra Santa marble.
TA new apartment building has been incorporated above the theatre designed by Loates Taylor Shannon with interiors designed in conjunction with Nicky Haslam.