Project celebrated as exemplary new way to rescue heritage
RSC transformation celebrated as an exemplary new way to rescue heritage
In a new book launched this week English Heritage has championed the Royal Shakespeare Theatre transformation as one of England’s 20 best development schemes in historic places. The book, Constructive Conservation in Practice reveals the excellent schemes that demonstrate "Constructive Conservation": a new way of rescuing heritage as part of regeneration.
Constructive Conservation involves heritage and development professionals working as a team and using English Heritage’s newly-published Conservation Principles as a guide. The Principles have become the key to working out which parts of a historic site must be kept and which less-important parts could be changed in order to find the best way to save the heritage.
English Heritage have been working with us throughout the transformation and played a key role in showing that is was possible to replace the auditorium of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre without damaging historically significant features, such as the Art Deco foyer and bar and in rediscovering the long-hidden riverside façade.
Our Project Director, Peter Wilson said: "We are extremely grateful for English Heritage’s support for our low-key approach to restoration – keeping the theatre’s ‘ghosts’. We are equally grateful that they encouraged us to make a bold new intervention that will add a worthy 21st century contribution to the complex history of our theatre buildings."
Tim Johnston, Regional Director for English Heritage in the West Midlands, said: "Both architects and developers at the Royal Shakespeare Company showed they understood the value of this heritage site. The rest of the country can learn from this exemplary scheme.
"Heritage is a non-renewable resource, once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. That’s why decisions about what needs to be kept and what can be changed and adapted must be as accurate and as well-informed as possible. This is what English Heritage offers through its Conservation Principles. Many historic buildings that would have perished will now go on into the next century."
Find out more at English Heritage.