King's Theatre

2019 - 2024

The King’s Theatre opened in 1906 and welcomes over 200,000 visitors each year. Its important cultural and architectural history is embedded into the city of Edinburgh. Located in the Tollcross area of the city, the building was designed by James Davidson and its interiors by JD Swanston; the exterior is defined by its recognisable Edwardian baroque facade featuring decorative Art Nouveau doors, stained glass and carved stonework.

Now over a century old, Bennetts Associates were tasked by Capital Theatres to revitilise and safeguard the theatre's reputation and give it a renewed sense of destination. Many spaces will be open to the public for the first time and a new flytower and technical infrastructure will extend the artistic programme.

The transformational project will preserve and revitalise what is one of Scotland’s oldest and most loved theatres, making it a vibrant, dynamic, and accessible cultural destination for generations to come.


Our design makes optimum use of the spaces inside the original 1906 building and sensitively adapts what already exists. The revitalised heritage spaces will be complemented by two new bars, a learning and participation studio, new stairs and lifts and a new box office.


The inclusive and inviting destination will draw locals and new visitors in to appreciate the performing arts while the new street café on the ground floor will generate an all-day buzz throughout the building. The theatre’s circulation routes will be radically improved for ease of navigation and access democratised throughout.


Backstage, our proposals will deliver a technically advanced venue capable of serving the needs of a diverse range of contemporary productions. In the 1950s, a third balcony level was removed from the auditorium and the upper circle extended backwards to increase capacity. Our plans are to restore the back wall of the auditorium to its original position with a faceted curved form reflecting the original back screen.




  • Upfront Carbon (A1-A5) –
  • 508 kgCO₂e/m²

Project Information

  • Client
  • Capital Theatres