Monday, 28 May 2012
Burrell Foley Fischer's redevelopment of the Palace Theatre, Watford was completed in 2004. The building is made up of two distinct parts, the Listed Grade II Edwardian theatre originally designed by W.A. Theobold around the turn of the century and extended in 1910 by Wilson & Long, and a 1980s extension built as part of an office redevelopment on the adjacent site.
In the original theatre building, the stage house was completely rebuilt to provide a more generously proportioned partner to the 660 seat auditorium, which itself was remodelled to ‘close in’ the wide and Spartan side elevations and extended recess of the gallery. Additionally, the seating rakes and layout arrangements were improved at stalls, circle and gallery levels. The backstage areas were also completely rebuilt.
In the undistinguished 1980s extension, a vertical slot between the old and new parts of the venue defines the junction between foyer areas and historic auditorium spanned by bridges reaching between the two halves. All front-of-house areas, access stairs and lift, and circulation and foyer spaces were rearranged and remodelled, opening up the front elevation to present dramatic new views of the public areas from the street.