Opened in 1906, King’s Theatre important cultural and architectural history is embedded into the city of Edinburgh and welcomes over 200,000 visitors each year. Located in the Tolcross area of the city, the building was designed by James Davidson and the interiors by JD Swanston; the exterior defined by its recognisable Edwardian baroque facade featuring decorative Art Nouveau doors, stained glass and carved stonework.
Now over a century old, we 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.
Our design makes optimum use of the spaces inside the original 1906 building and will be approached with a sensitive adaptation of what already exists. The revitalised heritage spaces will be complimented by two new bars, a learning and participation studio, new stairs and lifts and a new box office. The inclusive and inviting destination will encourage locals and new visitors to appreciate the performing arts while the new street café on the ground floor will welcome an all day buzz throughout the building. The theatre's circulation routes will be radically improved for ease of navigation and the democratisation of access 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. With this information, our plans will be to restore the back wall of the auditorium to its original position with a faceted curved form reflecting the original back screen.
The transformational project will preserve and revitalise the King’s Theatre , one of Scotland’s oldest and most loved theatres, making it a vibrant, dynamic and accessible cultural destination for generations to come.