Case Study - New Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, UK

Project data

  • Customer
  • Canterbury City Council
  • Value
  • £18m
  • Area
  • 52,205 sq ft 
  • Programme duration
  • 123 weeks
  • Completion date
  • 9 September 2011

The Project

This important regional arts scheme saw ISG demolish the existing theatre building, whilst retaining the fly tower, and creating a new enlarged theatre and performing arts facility. The reinforced concrete and steel frame structure extends up to five storeys in height, with a 1,185 capacity auditorium at the heart of the new building, configured in the form of stalls and two balconies. A second flexible auditorium, termed the ‘Second Space’, seats up to 150 people, but also doubles that number as flat floor space owing to retractable tiered seating. 

The theatre complex incorporates a piazza and riverside café with terraced area and includes meeting and exhibition space. Spacious foyers and bar areas extend across all three floors in the main auditorium area, with an impressive atrium and box office at ground floor level. 

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An award-winning build

The significance of New Marlowe Theatre has been officially recognised by the numerous awards it has won, including a Civic Trust Award, a RIBA Downland Award for Architectural Excellence, the East Kent People’s Award, a Cultural Landscape Award, a Commendation in the Structural Steel Design Awards, the RICS South East Award for best project in the category of Tourism & Leisure, and the RICS South East Project of the Year Award.