The Undercroft Bar at ‘London’s coolest theatre’
We’ve recently completed work at The Royal Court Theatre, described as ‘London’s coolest theatre’ by Harpers and Queen. Located opposite London’s King’s Road, it is Britain’s leading national company dedicated to new work by innovative writers from the UK and around the world. The theatre’s pivotal role in promoting new voices is undisputed – the New York Times described it as ‘the most important theatre in Europe’.
The much loved Undercroft Bar, which reopened last week, has undergone a refurbishment which includes a rethinking of the principal front of house spaces, to improve usability and better express the democratic outlook of the Royal Court. We worked with Lyndon Goode Architects and Citizens Design Bureau on the bespoke joinery, upholstery and specialist metalwork.
A Grade-II listed building, the Undercroft bar is a generous height space at basement level, cast in concrete, created as part of Haworth Tompkins scheme of the theatre in 2000. Through radical re-planning of the space, it is hoped that the area will attract guests in the day time as well as around busy evening performances. It’s a place to get away from it all, meet friends, socialize and work.
We worked closely with the design team to fulfil the integrity of their concept, using materials that would complement the existing building whilst having its own contemporary identity. The furniture is designed to be worn into, to look better in five years time than it does in year one. The bar was made with a timber panel front and patinated steel back bar which included a hanging wine rack. Booth seating and curving banquettes with built in laptop points and task lighting define the space, punctuated with patinated steel side tables. We made library shelving to run along the back wall and a clever set of free standing sofas and tables to grace the central space. Built with wheels, they can be arranged in a multitude of configurations for ultimate flexibility.
Interested to find out more about the theatre and project? Lyndon Goode describe their design approach and project background >
Image Credits Hufton + Crowe